Profiles of the Undeveloped Watersheds on Vancouver Island by Keith Moore 1991
An Inventory of Watersheds
in the Coastal Temperate Forests
of British Columbia
by Keith Moore
with an essay
THE COASTAL TEMPERATE RAIN FOREST
An Ecosystem Management Perspective
By Spencer B. Beebe & Edward C. Wolf
A BC ENDANGERED SPACES PROJECT WORKING PAPER
Earthlife Canada Foundation & Ecotrust/Conservation International 1991
IMPORTANT NOTE: this document is not the original publication file, which was produced with ancient (1991) Aldus Pagemaker v3 software for Macintosh. This file was created by a heroic routine of copy/cut/paste from the Pagemaker file into MS Word, and as such is likely to contain some text omissions. Three figures and two tables are not included. Appendices are available as separate DBF/MS Excel files, but are not include here.
Provincial Summary 11
Results by Geographic Region 13
Results by Regional Ecosystem 22
Summary of Protected Primary Watersheds 32
Literature Cited 33
The Coastal Temperate Rain Forest 34
An Ecosystem Management Perspective
Figure 1 Coastal Western Hemlock and Coastal Douglas-Fir
Biogeoclimatic Zones of BC 9
Figure 2 Undeveloped and Protected Coastal Watersheds 20
Figure 3 Regional Ecosystems of Coastal BC 23
Table 1 Development Status Summary 11
Table 2 Protected Status Summary 12
Appendix 1 Annotated Database 41
Appendix 2 Protected Watersheds in BC >5,000 ha 52
Appendix 3 Partially Protected Watersheds in BC >5,000 ha 53
Appendix 4 Protected Watersheds in BC 1,000-5,000 ha 54
Page 2 PREFACE
by John Broadhead
From windy bay and the Khutzeymateen in the north to Clayoquot Sound and the Carmanah in the south, proposals to preserve entire coastal watersheds have become an important part of the debate over old-growth forests in British Columbia.
The issue of watersheds presents complex economic and eco-logical questions, and sorting out the implications of different land use decisions is an inexact science. We can measure the economic beneﬁts of logging watersheds; and industry advocates usually equate these with the costs of preservation. Yet some signiﬁcant downstream costs and other values foregone are missing from this equation, externalized by economists, but nonetheless real.
In biological terms, the beneﬁts of preservation and the costs of logging have scarcely been articulated. We know something about the habitat requirements of a few ﬁsh and wildlife species of economic importance, but these are a tiny portion of the thousands of kinds of ﬂora and fauna that watersheds contain. From estuary to ridge top, species both transient and resident interact with each other and their physical environment in ways that we have yet to comprehend.
The forest industry commonly treats watersheds as planning and management units, each one posing a distinct set of engineering and environmental problems and solutions. But watersheds have also been proposed as appropriate management units for conservation purposes. The argument has been advanced that setting aside entire, intact watersheds to represent a natural region will capture biological values more effectively–and sustain ecological processes with more assurance than will setting aside pieces of a landscape fragmented by industrial development.
To date, British Columbia has confronted the issue on a piecemeal basis… watershed by watershed… jobs versus the environment and “the last unlogged watershed.” This paper is provided for those who are calling for a different approach–for a comprehensive land use strategy, including a systematic analysis of the full costs and beneﬁts of preserving and logging coastal watersheds.
The paper presents a basic part of the information required for such an undertaking: an inventory of coastal watersheds, describing their development status and degree of protection. Results are reported by geographical region to indicate where both priorities and opportunities for conservation are located. Results are also reported by ecosection, as the basis for a gap analysis of protected area systems on the BC coast.
Appendix 1 contains the project’s full, annotated database of 354 watersheds in the coastal temperate forest of BC that are larger than 5,000 ha, compiled for analysis according to the criteria described in the report. In the appendix the reader will ﬁnd, for example, that Waump Creek is really stream number 900-9479 in the BC Ministry of Environment’s “Watershed Dictionary.” It’s a 10,812 ha system in the North Paciﬁc Ranges (NPR) Ecosection, located on the South Coast (SC) of mainland BC. The Waump is classiﬁed here as a modiﬁed watershed, because 216 ha have been logged. None of it is protected.
Perseverence is required in searching the database for a pristine watershed that is fully protected, although the computer can do it in half a second. This is in part because there are actually only four of them protected in parks or ecological reserves, while two are protected in ‘Recreation Areas’ (in which mineral exploration is permitted). There are three protected modiﬁed watersheds, all in Recreation Areas.
As for the remainder, 236 of them are already developed, 43 are modiﬁed and 64 are pristine. All of them are in a Tree Farm License or a Timber Supply Area, and few will likely remain undeveloped by the year 2000.
Another sort of the database reveals that, of the 16 established ecosystem units on the coast of BC that contain the coastal temperate forest, only two are represented by an intact, pristine watershed in our park and ecological reserve systems; and one by a Recreation Area.
Some of the people of British Columbia think that the needs of their future generations might include a reasonable system of protected areas–wild ecosystems that we haven’t logged, dammed, mined, roaded or settled; big enough to sustain through time the natural legacy that we enjoy today. If intact watersheds are the best way to do this, then we had better act quickly. Our credit would be good with future generations.
John Broadhead is the President of the Earthlife Canada Foundation, and the Coordinator of the BC Endangered Spaces Project.
In recent years, many of the conservation efforts in the coastal temperate forests of British Columbia have focussed on the need to preserve entire, intact watersheds. Issues have included the
Tsitika, Windy Bay, the Stein, Khutzeymateen and Carmanah watersheds, among others. New watershed issues continue to surface in the 1990s as public conservation groups and professionals advance arguments about the need to set aside entire watersheds as logical representative units.
A number of parks system planners, researchers in biological processes and conservation professionals also argue that an entire watershed is the most appropriate conservation unit in the coastal temperate forest. Lertzman, Kremsater and Bunnell (in prep.) have recently undertaken a comprehensive review of this topic.
If a watershed is the most logical unit to consider for the conservation of representative ecological units in the coastal temperate forest, and if it is the unit that may be large enough to prevent fragmentation of important wildlife habitats and to preserve recreational and wilderness values, then it is important to answer a number of questions:
- How many undeveloped watersheds remain in the coastal temperate forest of BC?
- Where are they?
- What size are they?
- How many watersheds are presently protected, and where and how large are they?
- What ecological units do these protected watersheds, and the remaining undeveloped watersheds, represent?
In asking these questions, this paper has focussed on primary watersheds–deﬁned below as complete drainage systems ﬂowing into salt water–larger than 5,000 ha. Primary watersheds are proposed as the most logical units for conservation purposes, but it is recognized that secondary and tertiary watersheds as deﬁned in other papers (Hall and McLellan, 1990; Wilkinson, 1990) may also offer valuable conservation opportunities. The size of 5,000 ha was arbitrarily chosen because it was practical for an analysis of the entire BC coast. However, it should be noted that the report of the Wilderness Advisory Committee (1986) suggests that 5,000 ha is the minimum appropriate size for an area to be considered wilderness.
In answering these questions, this paper provides an information base for conservation planning, and for getting away from the “last unlogged watershed” syndrome. It systematically assesses the primary watersheds of the coastal temperate forests of BC; presents a gap analysis of protected watersheds by geographical region and ecosection; and identiﬁes watershed conservation options either available or foregone.
Primary watershed – A primary watershed includes all the land area draining into a stream system that has its terminus in salt water. It is a complete drainage area from salt water to height of land, including all the tributary drainage areas of the main stream. For brevity, the term ‘watershed’ is sometimes used alone in this analysis, where it should be taken to mean a primary system unless otherwise stated.
Developed watershed – A watershed that has been, or is presently being, signiﬁcantly affected by logging activities, highways or other industrial development such as powerlines and pipelines. Past or present disturbance exceeds two percent of the watershed area or, in the case of watersheds greater than 10,000 ha, is greater than 250 ha. Watersheds that have active logging, road construction or other on-going activity have been included in this category if the currently approved activities will exceed two percent of the watershed or 250 ha.
Undeveloped watershed – A watershed in which less than two percent of the area or, in the case of watersheds greater than 10,000 ha, less than 250 ha has been affected by industrial activity. Two types of undeveloped watersheds are described, as follows:
Pristine watershed – A watershed in which there is virtually no evidence of past human or industrial activities. Any past small scale removal of trees–including selective logging of individual trees, small patch cutting or land clearing–is limited to less than ﬁve ha.
Modiﬁed watershed – A watershed that has been slightly affected by a limited amount of industrial activity, such as past or recent logging with or without roads, powerlines, pipelines, mining, settlements or roads. The amount of the watershed affected is less than two percent of its area; or, in the case of watersheds greater than 10,000 ha, is less than 250 ha.
Protected watershed – A watershed the entire area of which is protected within a National Park, Provincial Park, Park Reserve, Ecological Reserve, Recreational Area or Wilderness Area. The different types of protected area status provide different levels of protection. In the case of Recreational Areas and Wilderness Areas, logging and some other activities are prohibited, but mineral exploration and road development may be permitted.
Partially protected watershed – A watershed in which more than ten percent and less than 100 percent of the watershed area is protected. Watersheds in which less than ten percent is protected are not included in this classiﬁcation because, although site speciﬁc ecosystems may be protected, the protected areas do not contribute signiﬁcantly to the protection of the watershed.
The steps involved in creating this inventory of watersheds in the coastal temperate forest of BC included: compiling a list of primary watersheds; measuring their area; determining their development status, biogeoclimatic zonation and ecoregional classiﬁcation; and identifying protected areas that encompass all or parts of them.
Listing of Watersheds
The BC watershed coding system–known as the “watershed dictionary”–provides a hierarchical listing of primary streams and their tributaries and sub-tributaries (BC Ministry of Environment, 1988a). This provided the framework for identifying primary watersheds and assessing their sizes.
The coding system assigns a 4-digit code to each primary stream or river, preceeded by a 3-digit geographical region code. Each tributary stream in the watershed that can be identiﬁed on a 1:50,000 scale map retains the code of the primary stream, plus a 3-digit sufﬁx denoting its location in the sequence of tributaries.
The numerical string for each tributary occupies a single line in the coding system printout. Because a rough correlation was ascertained between the number of coded tributaries of a primary watershed and its area, the number of lines in the printout occupied by each 4-digit code primary watershed was used to identify over 600 primary watersheds that possibly exceeded 5,000 ha in area.
Each primary watershed was then drawn on a 1:250,000 scale NTS contour map and measured with a planimeter to obtain its area. Progressively smaller primary watersheds (those with fewer entries in the dictionary) were located and measured until it was ascertained that all watersheds larger than 5,000 ha had been identiﬁed.
Some short-cuts were possible through the use of existing information. On Vancouver Island, boundaries of most primary watersheds had been drawn on 1:50,000 NTS contour maps by Ministry of Environment (MoE) staff, which were loaned by the Ministry to this project. Additional watersheds identiﬁed from the dictionary as possibly exceeding 5,000 ha were added to these maps. The areas of 189 watersheds on Vancouver Island were determined with a Hewlett Packard HP 9825A calculator and digitizing table.
On the Queen Charlotte Islands, areas for some watersheds were available from Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO) Fish Habitat Inventory and Information Program (1989, 1990a, 1990b, 1990c). The areas of 16 watersheds which exceeded 5,000 ha were checked and used. Boundaries of an additional 14 watersheds were drawn on 1:250,000 NTS contour maps and measured with a Koizumi Placom KP-90N digital planimeter.
For the rest of the BC mainland coast and adjacent islands, no similar mapping of watershed boundaries or calculations of their sizes existed. Because of the large area involved, the boundaries of all primary watersheds identiﬁed from the dictionary were drawn on 1:250,000 NTS contour maps. Area calculations were made with the planimeter. A total of 416 primary watersheds areas were delineated and measured.
In all, size calculations were obtained for 640 primary watersheds in the coastal temperate forest of BC–619 by planimeter measurement and 21 from other sources. Three hundred and ﬁfty-four of these primary watersheds exceed 5,000 ha in size (listed in Appendix 1).
According to the deﬁnitions provided in Section 2 above, all 354 watersheds greater than 5,000 ha were classiﬁed as either pristine, modiﬁed or developed through a combination of interviews and map analysis. Close cooperation was maintained with the BC Ministry of Forests (MoF). Recent MoF reports (Hall and McLellan, 1990; Lian and Wilkinson, 1990; Wilkinson, 1990) were checked and reviewed with the authors and with district ofﬁce staff. Personal interviews were conducted with staff in ﬁve districts, telephone interviews in three. Supplementary and collaborative information was obtained in person or by phone from forest company staff; BC MoE district and regional ofﬁces; DFO district ofﬁces; and other knowledgeable individuals.
If a primary watershed was identiﬁed in interviews as modiﬁed, air photos and detailed forest cover maps were examined for veriﬁcation. If it was found that limited past or present industrial activity had occurred, the areas affected were measured from maps or air photos. If a primary watershed was identiﬁed as pristine, maps and air photos were examined and an attempt was made to corroborate from two separate sources.
Satellite imagery at a scale of 1:125,000 was reviewed for Vancouver Island, but for most other areas of the BC coast it was neither readily available nor within the project budget.
Mapping Biogeoclimatic Zones and Ecoregions
The term coastal temperate forest is applied in this report to the Coastal Western Hemlock (CWH) and Coastal Douglas-Fir (CDF) biogeoclimatic zones, as described by the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classiﬁcation system (Pojar et al., 1987; BC MoF, 1988). The CWH and CDF zones deﬁne the areal extent of the coastal temperate forest, and provide the basis for complete summaries of the vegetation associations present in the forest type.
These zones are shown on the map in Figure 1. CWH boundaries were mapped onto 1:600,000 base maps to determine the extent of coastal temperate forest extending east of the Coast Mountains in watersheds such as the Fraser, Bella Coola, Dean, Skeena, and Nass.
To describe the distribution of developed, undeveloped and protected primary watersheds for purposes of a gap analysis of protected areas, it is necessary to divide the broad biogeoclimatic zones into more spatially coherent physiographic units. The Ecoregion Classiﬁcation System provides a suitable framework for this purpose (BC MoE, 1988b; DeMarchi, 1990; DeMarchi et al., 1990).
The Ecoregion Classiﬁcation System uses a hierarchical system of ecoprovinces, ecoregions and ecosections. The 2 ecoprovinces, 9 ecoregions and 16 ecosections that contain the coastal temperate forest are described and mapped in Figure 3 in Section 7. The descriptions of ecosections are from DeMarchi et al. (1990) and BC MoE (1988b).
Current boundaries of protected areas were obtained in consultation with the BC Ministry of Lands & Parks and drawn onto 1:250,000 maps with the watershed boundaries. From these, protected watersheds were determined (see Appendix 2); and the protected portions of partially protected watersheds were measured with a planimeter. Also, the areas of coastal temperate forest protected in ﬁve large partially protected coastal watersheds were measured from 1:500,000 biogeoclimatic unit maps for the Vancouver and Prince Rupert Forest regions (BC MoF, 1985; BC MoF & Lands, 1988). This information is in Appendix 3.
Several important caveats should be kept in mind while reading this paper. First, the reporting framework of entire primary watersheds (deﬁned in Section 2) was used rigorously–with three exceptions. Those tributaries of the Fraser, Skeena and Nass rivers that are within the coastal temperate forest (CWH zone) and that enter these rivers within the range of tidal inﬂuence were included as primary watersheds.
Second, the strict application of development status criteria in some watersheds may imply a lesser signiﬁcance as conservation opportunities. This is not intended. For example, the Tahsish on the west coast of Vancouver Island is classiﬁed as a developed watershed because of logging in the headwaters of the main river. Yet the lower portion of the Tahsish and two tributary watersheds (the Kwois and the Silburn) form a contiguous and pristine unit, and as such have been identiﬁed by a number of sources as providing an excellent conservation opportunity. Another example is the Kitlope system on the North coast, classiﬁed as modiﬁed because of 30 ha of logging in an otherwise pristine watershed of 275,000 ha. In other words, a developed or modiﬁed status is not meant to imply an absence of values worth protecting.
Third, this analysis is concerned solely with the number and distribution of pristine, modiﬁed and developed primary watersheds–among which there is tremendous variation in ecological characteristics. Those in southern BC at low to middle elevations are almost entirely productive forest, while those on the outer north coast are largely bog and scrub forest. Some watersheds at the heads of coastal inlets have extensive areas of avalanche tracks and glaciers and little productive forest. The distribution and abundance of ﬁsh, wildlife and other features is also highly variable, and no account was made of these differences.
Fourth, watershed boundaries were carefully drawn to follow heights of land. In many watersheds, they sometimes include consid-erable sub-alpine and alpine vegetation in addition to CWH and CDF, but are still counted as coastal temperate forest watersheds. Also, boundaries include only those areas which drain into a watershed above an estuary. Thus, if an area adjoining a pristine watershed–for example, beside an estuary or nearby on an inlet, but not draining into the primary stream–has been logged or otherwise developed, the watershed is still classiﬁed as pristine. Some pristine watersheds have extensive logging on the inlets adjacent to their estuaries.
Fifth, the use of the terms “developed” and “undeveloped” to describe watersheds may imply a value judgement to some that is not intended. They are used for the sake of compatibility with MoF data-base terminology. The reader will note that this report separates undeveloped watersheds into two sub-groups–either pristine or slightly modiﬁed by development (see Section 2)–a distinction not made by MoF.
Finally, considerable judgement was necessary in classifying watersheds as pristine, modiﬁed or developed, and in identifying partially protected watersheds. Clarifying comments for some watersheds are provided with the database in Appendix 1.
5 PROVINCIAL SUMMARY
Three hundred and ﬁfty-four (354) primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha have been identiﬁed in the coastal temperate forest of BC. Two hundred and forty-one of these are between 5,000-20,000 ha; 88 are between 20,000-100,000 ha; and 25 primary watersheds are larger than 100,000 ha (see Table 1).
Seventy-two of these primary watersheds are pristine (20 percent), and show virtually no sign of industrial activity. Forty-six are modiﬁed (13 percent), showing relatively minor signs of industrial activity. Two hundred and thirty-six have been developed (67 percent) through past or current logging, mining, road access or other industrial activity. Deﬁnitions for pristine, modiﬁed and developed are in Section 2.
5.1 Development Status Summary
There are 241 primary watersheds in this size class, which contains the greatest number of pristine and modiﬁed watersheds. Twenty-five percent (61) are pristine; 15 percent (37) are modiﬁed; and 59 percent (143) are developed.
There are 88 primary watersheds in this size range. Twelve percent (11) are pristine; nine percent (8) are modiﬁed; and 78 percent (69) are developed. Eight of the 11 pristine primary watersheds in this size class are on the North Coast, including: the Ecstall (84,000 ha), a tributary of the Skeena; and the Tsaytis (42,600 ha) and Kowesas (33,000 ha), both in Gardner Canal. There is one pristine watershed in this size class on the west side of Vancouver Island–the Megin (24,300 ha); one on the Mid Coast–the Skowquiltz (28,900 ha); and one on the Queen Charlottes–the Hancock (20,800 ha).
Larger than 100,000 ha
There are 25 primary watersheds in the coastal temperate forest in this size class, none of which are pristine. One is modiﬁed–the Kitlope (275,100 ha), at the south end of Gardner Canal. An island of about 30 ha in the lower Kitlope has been logged, but the rest of the watershed is pristine. There are no other pristine or modiﬁed primary watersheds in this size range in BC.
5.2 PROTECTED STATUS SUMMARY
Eight entire primary watersheds containing coastal temperate forest are protected in this size class–three in Naikoon Provincial Park, four in the Fjordland Recreational Area and one in Strathcona Provincial Park. Six of the eight are pristine (two of the watersheds in the Fjordland RA contain small areas that were logged before the protected area was established, and are modiﬁed, not pristine).
In this size class, one entire primary watershed is protected as a Recreational Area: the 56,800 ha Gitnadoix, a tributary in the Skeena system. It is considered modiﬁed, rather than pristine, because of a small area of past logging on the flats near the mouth of the river. Three primary watersheds in this size range are partially protected in Strathcona Provincial Park, all of which drain towards the western shore of Vancouver Island. Two of these are developed and one is pristine–the Megin (24,300 ha), about 3,000 ha of which is protected.
Larger than 100,000 ha
No entire primary watersheds are protected in this size class. While there are seven of this size where some portion is in a provincial park, most of the areas protected are not coastal temperate forest (CWH zone); and all seven of them are affected by development in the watershed adjacent to park boundaries or in the park.
6 RESULTS BY GEOGRAPHICAL REGION
To report the distribution of pristine and modiﬁed primary watersheds in the coastal temperate forest of BC, the coast has been broken into seven geographical regions, as follows:
- Fraser Lower Mainland (FLM)–the mainland coast south of the Sechelt Peninsula, including tributaries in the lower Fraser that are mostly within the CWH zone.
- South Coast (SC)–the mainland coast between Sechelt Inlet and Cape Caution, including the coastal islands between Vancouver Island and the mainland.
- Eastern Vancouver Island (EVI)–the east coast of Vancouver Island south of Cape Scott.
- Western Vancouver Island (WVI)–the west coast of Vancouver Island south of Cape Scott.
- Mid Coast (MC)–the mainland coast between Cape Caution and Finlayson Head (at the north end of Finlayson Channel near Bella Bella) including the adjacent coastal islands.
- North Coast (NC)–the mainland coast between Finlayson Head and the US border in Portland Canal, including adjacent coastal islands and tributaries in the lower Skeena and Nass rivers that are mostly within the CWH zone.
- Queen Charlotte Islands (QCI)–all of the Queen Charlotte Islands.
In the northwest corner of BC, there are several major watersheds that contain coastal temperate forest in their lower reaches, the greatest proportion of which occurs across the international border in Alaska, such as the Bear, Unuk, Stikine, Whiting, Taku and Chilkat watersheds. These have not been included here because the extent of coastal temperate forest in their BC portions is very small relative to total watershed size. Despite their exclusion, these watersheds may offer some important conservation opportunities, particularly since some of their lower reaches are protected in Alaska.
All of coastal BC’s primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha are listed in Appendix 1, which is the annotated database sorted by geographical region. Undeveloped watersheds (protected and unprotected) are mapped in Figure 2 on page 20, as are the geographical region boundaries.
6.1 Fraser Lower Mainland
The Fraser Lower Mainland region contains a total of 30 primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha. Seventeen are located between the US border and Sechelt Inlet; 13 are tributary watersheds in the Lower Fraser but are treated as primary watersheds in this study. Eleven of these are larger than 20,000 ha; ﬁve are larger than 100,000 ha.
All 30 watersheds in this region have been subject to extensive logging, urban development and clearing for agriculture, and none are pristine or modiﬁed.
No entire primary watersheds of any size are protected in the Fraser Lower Mainland region. And because they are all developed, there are no opportunities to protect an intact, undeveloped primary watershed in the region.
Parts of the upper reaches of three large watersheds–the Harrison, Pitt and Stave–are protected, although their lower reaches have been extensively developed. Parts of the upper Pitt and of six tributaries to the Harrison are protected in Garibaldi Provincial Park. Part of the upper Stave and a tributary watershed are protected in Golden Ears and Garibaldi Provincial Parks.
The total area of the three watersheds is about 1,057,000 ha, yet the protected portions are small fractions of the total area of coastal temperate forest in them. The area protected totals about 149,500 ha, of which 42,600 ha is coastal temperate forest (CWH)–21,300 ha in the Pitt, 17,500 ha in the Harrison, and 3,800 in the Stave. Most of the protected area in these three watersheds is at high elevation, and not in the coastal temperate forest zone.
6.2 South Coast
The South Coast region contains 54 primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha. Eighty-nine percent (48) are developed. Only one pristine watershed remains: the Paradise (9,500 ha) in Bute Inlet.
The remaining ﬁve watersheds in this region are modiﬁed due to logging or road construction in the past: the Ahnuhati (19,000 ha), Kwalate (7,800 ha) and Matsiu (6,500 ha) in Knight Inlet; the Ahta (6,800 ha) in Bond Sound; and the Waump (10,800 ha) in Allison Sound. At least two–the Kwalate and Matsiu–are planned for further logging in the near future.
Twenty-one of the watersheds are larger than 20,000 ha and six are larger than 100,000 ha, but there are no pristine or modiﬁed watersheds of such size remaining in the region. There are no protected or partially protected primary watersheds of any size in the South Coast region.
6.3 Eastern Vancouver Island
The Eastern Vancouver Island region contains 30 primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha. All but one are developed. The Shushartie (7,300 ha) is modiﬁed. None are pristine. The Tsitika is sometimes referred to as an “unlogged” watershed, but about nine percent of it has been logged (MOF, 1990).
In the Shushartie, 24 ha were logged in the upper watershed around 1988-89; and further logging is proposed in 1992-94 (Hall and McLellan, 1990). Wilkinson (1990) identiﬁed the Shushartie as the only “undeveloped” primary watershed greater than 5,000 ha on the east side of Vancouver Island. He also found three in the 1,000-5,000 ha size range that are modiﬁed at present.
No entire primary watersheds of any size are protected on the east coast of Vancouver Island. The Shushartie is the only option to protect an undeveloped watershed larger than 5,000 ha.
One large system on Eastern Vancouver Island is partially protected. The upper Campbell, including several tributaries in excess of 5,000 ha, is protected in Strathcona Provincial Park. Hall and McLellan (1990) and Wilkinson (1990) provide a list of these protected tributary watersheds, although some of the tributaries listed in the former as “unlogged” would be considered developed using the criteria in this paper, because of the extent of past logging, mining and road development. The unprotected portion of the Campbell watershed has been heavily developed by logging, road construction and hydro-electric development.
Other partially protected watersheds in the EVI region include: a patchwork of six Ecological Reserves within the Tsitika River watershed; and portions of the upper Puntledge (tributary to the Courtenay) and the upper Salmon in Strathcona Park. The protected portions of these, however, are all substantially less than 10 percent of the watersheds (see Appendix 1). While they protect important biological and recreational features, they do not protect intact watershed values.
6.4 Western Vancouver Island
The Western Vancouver Island region contains 60 primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha. Eighty-eight percent (53) are developed, two are modiﬁed and ﬁve are pristine.
The two modiﬁed watersheds are the Klaskish (5,200 ha) and Power (5,500 ha), both located in the Kyuquot-Brooks area. Six kilometres of road were built in the lower Klaskish about 1970, and two kilometres of logging road were built on the north side of the lower watershed in 1990. A total of 78 ha were logged in the Power watershed in the 1940s and -60s (Hall and McLelland, 1990).
The ﬁve pristine watersheds are: the Sydney (5,900 ha), Megin (24,300 ha) and Moyeha (18,200 ha) in Clayoquot Sound; and the Nasparti (6,000 ha) and East Creek (5,000 ha) in the Kyuquot-Brooks area. Of the 13 primary watersheds larger than 20,000 ha on Western Vancouver Island, the Megin is the only one that is not developed.
These ﬁve pristine and two modiﬁed watersheds are corroborated by Wilkinson (1990), who also identiﬁes 15 undeveloped primary watersheds in the 1,000-5,000 ha range on the west coast of the island, and three more in that size range on offshore islands.
Hall and McLelland (1990) list Bulson Creek in Clayoquot Sound as an undeveloped primary watershed. One hundred and sixty hectares of logging in the Bulson, however, affect slightly more than 2 percent of the watershed, and so the Bulson is classiﬁed as developed in this paper. Similarly, 164 ha of logging and additional road building in the upper Carmanah affect more than 2 percent of that watershed, which has also been classiﬁed as developed here.
There are two signiﬁcant areas of contiguous undeveloped primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha on the west coast of Vancouver Island. One is Clayoquot Sound, where the Moyeha, Megin, Sydney and some smaller watersheds are adjacent to each other in the vicinity of Herbert, Shelter and Sydney Inlets. The second signiﬁcant area is around Brooks Peninsula from Ououkinsh Inlet north to Klaskish Inlet, where the Power, Nasparti, East, Klaskish and some smaller watersheds adjoin each other.
Of the 60 watersheds on Western Vancouver Island, only the Moyeha is fully protected, laying entirely within Strathcona Provincial Park. The Moyeha is pristine. In 1988, a provincial government advisory committee recommended extending the boundaries of Strathcona Park to include a 100-ha addition in the estuary of the Moheya and about 2,500 ha in Moyeha Bay to ensure that the entire watershed retains its wilderness qualities (Strathcona Park Advisory Committee, 1988).
Six primary watersheds on west Vancouver Island are partially protected in Provincial Parks. Five of these have logging in other parts of the watershed or within the area now included in the Park. These are: the upper Burman, upper Gold and upper Bedwell in Strathcona Provincial Park; a portion of the lower Fisherman in Cape Scott Provincial Park; and the lower half of the Carmanah, protected partly in Paciﬁc Rim National Park Reserve and in the new 3,300-ha Carmanah Paciﬁc Provincial Park.
The Megin, at 24,299 ha the largest pristine watershed remaining on Vancouver Island, is the only primary watershed that is both undeveloped and partially protected. About 3,000 ha of the headwaters of the Megin and a tributary (Mitla Creek) are protected in Strathcona Provincial Park. The Strathcona Park Advisory Committee report (1988) recommended a study to consider adding the rest of the Megin-Mitla watershed to Strathcona Park.
One smaller pristine primary watershed, the Tsusiat (3,300 ha), is entirely protected in Paciﬁc Rim National Park Reserve. Four pristine watersheds between 1,000 and 2,500 ha are protected in the Brooks Recreational Area (Wilkinson, 1990).
6.5 Mid Coast
The BC coast north of Vancouver Island is more remote and rugged, and is consequently less developed. The Mid Coast region contains 50 primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha, of which 16 are over 20,000 ha and four over 100,000 ha. Forty-two percent (21) have been developed; ten are modiﬁed (including three over 20,000 ha); and 19 are pristine. Eighteen of the pristine watersheds are in the 5,000-20,000 ha size class. One is larger–the Skowquiltz (28,900 ha), in Dean Channel.
There are some large, contiguous areas of undeveloped primary watersheds in this region, on both sides of Dean Channel and in the Mussel-Kynoch area in the Fjordland Recreational Area (see Figure 2). On the north side of Dean Channel, two modiﬁed watersheds–the Nascall (38,750 ha) and the Sutslem (23,125 ha)–have seen little development and are adjacent to the Skowquiltz (28,875 ha), which is pristine. These three appear to form the largest contiguous area of undeveloped watersheds in the Mid Coast.
Four primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in the Mid Coast region are entirely protected in the Fjordland Recreational Area. Two are pristine and two are modiﬁed, due to small areas of logging about 35 years ago.
Two large watersheds in the Mid Coast are partially protected. The north side of the Talchako watershed (a tributary to the Bella Coola) and its tributaries are protected in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park; as is part of the Dean watershed, including several tributaries. The total area of the Dean and Bella Coola protected in Tweedsmuir Park is about 450,000 ha, but 95 percent of it is interior, sub-boreal or high elevation forest types. Only about 8,000 ha of the Dean and 11,000 ha of the Bella Coola are protected coastal temperate forest–small fractions of the total area of CWH in these large watersheds (see Appendix 3).
Nine undeveloped primary watersheds in the 1,000-5,000 ha size range are protected in the Hakai and Fjordland RA’s (see Appendix 4).
6.6 North Coast
There are 100 primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in the North Coast region. Thirty-eight of these are developed, 26 are modiﬁed, and 36 are pristine. Thirty-three are greater than 20,000 ha; eight of which are pristine and six modiﬁed.
None of the four primary watersheds larger than 100,000 ha are pristine but one is modiﬁed–the Kitlope (275,100 ha)–which is the largest undeveloped watershed in the BC coastal temperate forest.
The largest contiguous area of undeveloped primary watersheds in the coastal temperate forest of BC appears to be in the Gardner Canal area south of Kemano (see Figure 2). This area encompasses the Kitlope and four others that are pristine, including the Kowesas (33,250 ha) and the Tsaytis (42,600 ha).
There is also a signiﬁcant group of undeveloped watersheds in Gardner Canal west of Kemano. It encompasses six primary watersheds that are pristine, including the Owyacumish (9,500 ha), Brim (15,800 ha), Wahoo (22,000 ha) and the Kiltuish (31,200 ha). Logging has occurred along the shoreline of at least one inlet in this area.
A third large undeveloped area is on the north side of Douglas Channel, where four adjacent pristine watersheds–the Gilttoyees, Foch Lagoon, Foch and a small unnamed watershed–adjoin a number of undeveloped primary watersheds to the north that are tributaries of the lower Skeena–the Ecstall, Khtada and Gitnadoix.
Also in the North Coast region, the Khutzeymateen and Exchamsics form a large contiguous area of slightly modiﬁed watersheds.
There are no entire primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in the North Coast region that are pristine and protected with full park status. One entire large primary watershed, the Gitnadoix (56,800 ha), a tributary of the Skeena, is protected in a Recreation Area. The Gitnadoix has a small area of past logging.
One small watershed, the Gingietl (2,900 ha), in the coastal temperate forest zone of the lower Nass, is protected as an Ecological Reserve.
There are no primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha that are partially protected on the North Coast.
6.7 Queen Charlotte Islands
The Queen Charlotte Islands contain 30 primary watersheds in excess of 5,000 ha, ﬁve of which are greater than 20,000 ha. Fifty-seven percent (17) are developed; thirty-seven percent (11) are pristine; and two are modiﬁed. One of the pristine watersheds, the Hancock, is larger than 20,000 ha.
A group of undeveloped primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha occurs in the Duu Guusd area on the northwest coast of Graham Island–Seal, Coates, Otard and Beresford on the west coast; and Jalun on the north coast. Another contiguous group on the north coast includes the Christie, Otun and Hancock, located between Naden Harbour and Masset Inlet.
Three entire pristine primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha are protected in Naikoon Provincial Park–the Hiellan, Oeanda and Cape Ball. No entire watersheds larger than 20,000 ha are protected.
Six entire undeveloped primary watersheds between 1,000 and 2,000 ha are protected in the Gwaii Haanas/South Moresby National Park Reserve. Mace Creek (2,000 ha), a pristine watershed on the west coast of Graham Island, is entirely protected in an Ecological Reserve.
Two modiﬁed watersheds, the Sangan and Mayer, are partially protected in Naikoon Park and the Drizzle Lake Ecological Reserve.
6.8 Summary of Geographical Regions
In the southern portion of the BC coastal temperate forest–encompassing the Fraser Lower Mainland, South Coast and both Vancouver Island regions–there are 174 primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha. Six of them are pristine (three percent). Eight are modiﬁed (ﬁve percent). In the same area, there are 59 watersheds larger than 20,000 ha, only one of which remains undeveloped–the Megin (24,300 ha) on Western Vancouver Island.
In the northern portion of the BC coastal temperate forest–encompassing the Mid Coast, North Coast and Queen Charlotte Islands regions–many more undeveloped primary watersheds remain. There are 180 primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha, of which 66 are pristine (37 percent) and 38 are modiﬁed (21 percent). There are 54 primary watersheds larger than 20,000 ha, of which ten are pristine (19 percent) and nine are modiﬁed (17 percent).
In the southern regions, the areas that yet contain a number of contiguous undeveloped watersheds are: Clayoquot Sound and the Kyuquot-Brooks area on Western Vancouver Island; and the north side of Knight Inlet in the South Coast region.
In the Fraser Lower Mainland and South Coast regions, there are no undeveloped primary watersheds greater than 20,000 ha, and only one pristine watershed remains–the Paradise (9,380 ha).
Groups of contiguous undeveloped watersheds occur in several places in the north. The largest group in BC is in Gardner Canal, south of Kemano. Others exist in western Gardner Canal, Dean Channel, Douglas Channel, the Khutzeymateen/Exchamsics, and on the west and north coasts of the Queen Charlotte Islands.
Parks and Ecological Reserves
There is only one entire primary watershed larger than 5,000 ha on Vancouver Island or the mainland coast of BC that has full protection in a Park or Ecological Reserve–the Moyeha (18,220 ha) in Strathcona Provincial Park, which is pristine (see Appendix 2). Three entire pristine watersheds are protected in Naikoon Provincial Park on the Queen Charlotte Islands–the Hiellen (13,400 ha), Oeanda (10,370 ha), and Cape Ball (16,120 ha), which are largely muskeg or bog forest types.
Two pristine and two modiﬁed watersheds occur in the Fjordland Recreational Area. The Gitnadoix Recreational Area contains the largest entire protected watershed in coastal BC (58,000 ha).
7 RESULTS BY REGIONAL ECOSECTION
This section describes the distribution of undeveloped and protected primary watersheds in BC on the basis of ecological regions, rather than generalized geographic regions. It constitutes a gap analysis of protected areas with respect to intact, coastal temperate forest watersheds. Of course, a comprehensive gap analysis would examine in detail many other factors such as: rare, threatened and endangered species; occurance of representative forest stand types; etc. It is useful, however, to examine the occurrence of protected entire watersheds because, where they occur, such physiographic units are thought to provide optimum protection to the species and ecological process that they contain.
The Ecoregion Classiﬁcation System developed by the BC MoE (BC MoE, 1988b; DeMarchi, 1990; DeMarchi et al., 1990) deﬁnes two large ecoprovinces which completely contain the coastal temperate forest of BC. The two ecoprovinces are divided into 12 ecoregions, some of which are further subdivided to describe a total of 18 ecosections (see Figure 3).
Where an ecoregion is subdivided into ecosections, the ecosection is the unit used to describe the distribution of watersheds. For those ecoregions that are not subdivided into ecosections, the ecoregion has been used as the descriptive unit. Because some ecoregions and ecosections do not contain any primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha, a total of 17 units are described.
The ecoregions and ecosections were identiﬁed from 1:500,000 Regional Wildlife Habitat Maps (MoE). Where a large primary watershed occupies two or more units, it is listed under the ecosection containing the greater part. Data on watersheds in the ecoregion and ecosection units of coastal BC are provided in Appendix 1.
7.1 Georgia Depression Ecoprovince
The Georgia Depression Ecoprovince is a large basin encompassing southeastern Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Lower Mainland. It corresponds closely to the Coastal Douglas-ﬁr zone, and is characterized by an effective rainshadow in the lee of the Vancouver Island Ranges and the Olympic peninsula.
This ecoprovince contains three ecoregions, two of which are subdivided into four ecosections. Four of the units have primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha.
7.1.1 Strait of Georgia Ecoregion
The Strait of Georgia Ecoregion is a semi-enclosed, estuarine basin between southeastern Vancouver Island and the mainland. It includes a number of islands that have very dry and mild coastal climates. There is a high diversity and abundance of terrestial and marine wildlife. This ecoregion is not subdivided into ecosections.
There is one primary watershed larger than 5,000 ha in this ecoregion–the Main Lake system on Quadra Island. It is developed. All other smaller primary watersheds in this ecoregion also appear to be developed.
No primary watersheds are entirely or partially protected.
7.1.2 Lower Mainland Ecoregion
This ecoregion is subdivided into two ecosections–the Fraser Lowland Ecosection and the Georgia Lowlands Ecosection.
188.8.131.52 Fraser Lowland Ecosection
The Fraser Lowland Ecosection encompasses the Fraser River delta, estuary, lowlands and associated uplands. It contains eight primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha. All are developed.
No primary watersheds are entirely or partially protected.
184.108.40.206 Georgia Lowlands Ecosection
This ecosection includes the areas of low relief at the base of the Coast Ranges along the sunshine Coast on the southern mainland. It contains no primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha.
7.1.3 Eastern Vancouver Island Ecoregion
This ecoregion subdivides into the Leeward Island Mountains and the Nanaimo Lowlands Ecosections.
220.127.116.11 Leeward Island Mountains Ecosection
The Leeward Islands Mountain Ecosection is a mountainous area extending from the crest of the Vancouver Island Ranges to the Nanaimo Lowlands, and covers the drier and warmer eastern side of Vancouver Island. It contains 20 primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha. All are developed.
No entire watersheds in this ecosection are protected. One large primary watershed–the Campbell–is partially protected in Strathcona Provincial Park. As previously described, the protected area includes several tributary watersheds of the Campbell that are identiﬁed by Hall and McLellan (1990) as “unlogged” and by Wilkinson (1990) as “undeveloped,” but which are classed as developed using the criteria in this report.
Approximately 9,000 ha in the Upper Salmon watershed are protected in Strathcona Park, but as this is only seven percent of the primary watershed area, it is not considered to be partially protected.
18.104.22.168 Nanaimo Lowlands Ecosection
The Nanaimo Lowlands Ecosection is situated on a coastal plain along the southeastern margin of Vancouver Island. It has a dry, mild climate, and the greatest diversity and abundance of wildlife on Vancouver Island. It contains four primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha. All are developed.
No primary watersheds are entirely or partially protected. As described in Section 5.2.3, about 3,000 ha of the upper Puntledge (a tributary of the Courtenay) are protected. This is only 3.5 percent of the primary watershed area and so it is not classed as partially protected.
7.2 Coast and Mountains Ecoprovince
The Coast and Mountains Ecoprovince extends along the coast from Oregon to Alaska. In BC, it encompasses the windward sides of the Coast mountains and Vancouver Island, and all of the Queen Charlotte Islands. Its range is fairly consistent with the CWH biogeoclimatic zone, but also includes the Mountain Hemlock and Alpine Tundra biogeoclimatic zones at higher elevations.
This ecoprovince contains seven ecoregions, four of which subdivide into 11 ecosections. In total, 13 ecoregion or ecosection units in the Coast and Mountains Ecoprovince contain primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha.
7.2.1 Paciﬁc and Cascade Ranges Ecoregion
This ecoregion encompasses the southern half of the BC mainland coast. It is subdivided into four ecosections.
22.214.171.124 Southern Paciﬁc Ranges Ecosection
The Southern Paciﬁc Ranges ecosection, east of the Georgia Depression and extending north to Toba Inlet, is an area of high rain-fall and steep rugged mountains. The climate is milder than the Northern Paciﬁc Ranges, but snowfall is high except at low elevations.
There are 28 primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in this ecosection, all of which are developed.
No entire primary watersheds are protected and none that are undeveloped remain. Two large watersheds in excess of 100,000 ha–the Stave and Pitt–are partially protected. As explained in Section 6.1, much of the protected area is above the temperate forest zone and about 25,000 ha of the protected area in the two watersheds is CWH. Both of these partially protected watersheds are developed and some of the area now protected was logged many years ago.
126.96.36.199 Eastern Paciﬁc Ranges Ecosection
The Eastern Paciﬁc Ranges ecosection is a mountainous inland area to the east of the Southern Paciﬁc Ranges Ecosection. It has a relatively drier climate than other Paciﬁc Ranges ecosections, and is transitional between the coast and interior.
There are seven primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in this ecosection. All are developed.
No entire primary watersheds are protected in this ecosection and no pristine or modiﬁed primary watersheds remain.
One large watershed, the Harrison, is partially protected because portions of six tributaries are within Garibaldi Provincial Park. As described in Section 6.1, the Harrison is developed and the protected area does not include any entire tributary watersheds. Of the 76,000 ha protected in the Harrison, 17,500 ha is coastal temperate forest.
188.8.131.52 Outer Fjordland Ecosection
This ecosection is an area of rugged, low relief, encompassing the inlets, sounds, islands and peninsulas east of Johnson Strait and Seymour Narrows, and extending north to Cape Caution. It lacks the high mountains of the North Paciﬁc Ranges, has a milder climate, and extensive steeply sloping shorelines. Snow depths are high except at low elevations near the ocean.
There are seven primary watersheds in this ecosection, all in the 5,000-20,000 ha size range. All are developed.
There are no protected or partially protected primary watersheds in this ecosection and no pristine or modiﬁed primary watersheds remain.
184.108.40.206 Northern Paciﬁc Ranges Ecosection
The Northern Paciﬁc Ranges Ecosection is an area of steep, high mountains with extensive areas of permanent snow and ice. It is a wet, cold ecosection extending from Toba Inlet north to Burke Channel, and contains the highest mountains in the Coast Range of BC. Steep slopes, high snow depths, and common avalanche tracks combine with ﬂoodplains and salmon streams to create an exceptional range of habitats. Species diversity is high, but population abundance levels are low.
There are 50 primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in this ecosection, 39 of which are developed (78 percent). Four systems in the 5,000-20,000 ha size range are pristine: the Paradise, Lockhart Gordon, Hotsprings and an unnamed watershed in South Bentinck Arm. Seven primary watersheds are modiﬁed. These include the 38,800 ha Smokehouse and six other primary watersheds in the 5,000-20,000 ha size range.
No entire undeveloped primary watersheds in this ecosection are protected, but there are opportunities to do so as noted above.
One primary watershed, the Bella Coola, is partially protected, but as discussed in Section 6.5, most of the protected area is interior or sub-boreal forest. About 11,000 ha of the 160,000 ha protected in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park is coastal temperate forest.
7.2.2 Coastal Gap Ecoregion
This ecoregion is located on the outer mainland coast facing Queen Charlotte Sound and Hecate Strait, and is subdivided into two ecosections.
220.127.116.11 Hecate Lowland Ecosection
The Hecate Lowland Ecosection is an area of low relief, consisting of islands, channels, rocks and lowlands on the outer mainland coast facing Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound. It has a mild climate and high precipitation, and snowfall is light or of short duration. Poor forest growth, rolling muskeg bogs of predominantly organic soils, and rock outcrops are common.
There are 26 primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in this ecosection. Six are developed (23 percent). Fourteen, including the Lowe/Gamble (24,700 ha), are pristine. Six, all in the 5,000-20,000 size range, are modiﬁed.
There are no primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in this ecosection that are entirely or partially protected. However, numerous opportunities to protect undeveloped primary watersheds exist in this ecosection, including one larger than 20,000 ha. There are three watersheds in the 1,000-5,000 ha size range that are protected in the Hakai Recreational Area–one on Calvert Island and two on Hunter Island.
18.104.22.168 Kitimat Ranges Ecosection
The Kitimat Ranges Ecosection is an area of steep-sided mountains located east of the Hecate Lowland Ecosection. It is characterized by high precipitation, coastal vegetation, and rugged mountains with deep snowfall. Mountains are lower in elevation than the Boundary Ranges to the north, so glaciers are less common.
This is the largest ecosection containing coastal temperate forest, and encompasses 103 primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha–about 29 percent of the primary watersheds in the coastal temperate forest. Thirty-seven of these are developed (36 percent). Thirty-eight are pristine, including eight that are between 20,000-100,000 ha. Twenty-eight are modiﬁed, including seven between 20,000-100,00 ha; and one that is larger than 100,000 ha–the Kitlope (275,100 ha).
Five entire primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in this ecosection are protected in the Gitnadoix and Fjordland Recreational Areas. Two of these–the Kainet (7,800 ha) and Poison Cove (10,600 ha)–are pristine. The other three, including the Gitnadoix (56,800 ha), are modiﬁed.
One small pristine primary watershed–the Gingietl (2,870 ha) on the north shore of the Nass River–is entirely protected as an Ecological Reserve. Six others between 1,000-5,000 ha are protected in the Fjordland RA.
One large watershed, the Dean, is partially protected in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. As explained in Section 6.5, about 8,000 ha of the 307,000 ha protected is coastal temperate forest, and the protected area is a small percentage of the total coastal temperate forest in the watershed.
7.2.3 Nass Ranges Ecoregion
The Nass Ranges Ecoregion is a mountainous area northeast of the Kitimat Ranges. Its climate is transitional between coastal and interior. This ecoregion is not subdivided into ecosections.
There are four primary watersheds in the coastal temperate forest in the ecoregion, all tributaries of the Skeena. All are developed.
There are no entire or partially protected watersheds in this ecoregion, and no opportunities to protect an undeveloped primary watershed remain.
7.2.4 Boundary Ranges Ecoregion
This ecoregion extends north of the Nass River along the Alaska border into the north west corner of BC. As described in Section 6, there are no entire primary watersheds that are coastal temperate forest within BC in this ecoregion.
7.2.5 Western Vancouver Island Ecoregion
This ecoregion is subdivided into three ecosections.
22.214.171.124 Windward Island Mountains Ecosection
The Windward Island Mountains Ecosection is the area of lowlands, islands and mountains on the outer western side of Vancouver Island.
There are 44 primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in this ecosection–35 in the 5,000-20,000 ha class, and nine in the 20,000-100,000 ha class. Thirty-seven are developed (84 percent). Two, the Klaskish and Power, are modiﬁed. Five are pristine. One of these, the Megin, is larger than 20,000 ha. The other four–the Moyeha, Sydney, East and Nasparti–are in the 5,000-20,000 ha range.
One entire pristine primary watershed larger than 5,000 ha in this ecosection is protected in Strathcona Park: the Moyeha (18,000 ha). Five smaller pristine primary watersheds are also protected (Wilkinson, 1990): the Tsusiat (3,300 ha) in Paciﬁc Rim National Park Reserve; and four in the 1,000-2,500 ha range in the Brooks Recreational Area.
One pristine watershed, the Megin, is partially protected. It is the only partially protected watershed in BC that is pristine (described in Section 6.4).
Three other primary watersheds–the Carmanah, Bedwell and Burman–are partially protected, although logging has occurred in the unprotected portions.
126.96.36.199 Northern Island Mountains Ecosection
The Northern Island Mountains Ecosection is an area of wide valleys and mountains, located south of Johnson Strait in the northern portion of Vancouver Island. It is similar to the Leeward Island Ranges except for a wetter summer climate.
There are seven primary watersheds in this ecosection. All are developed.
There are no entire protected watersheds of any size in this ecosection, and no opportunities to protect a pristine or modiﬁed primary watershed remain.
One, the Gold, is partially protected in Strathcona Park. The Park includes part of the upper Gold and parts of two tributaries–the Ucona and Heber–that are developed in the portions outside the Park. Some logging and road construction has occurred within Park boundaries in the Gold and Ucona watersheds.
188.8.131.52 Nahwitti Lowland Ecosection
The Nahwitti Lowland Ecosection is located at the northern end of Vancouver Island. It is an area of rolling topography and high precipitation, which combine to produce extensive wetlands characterized by red cedar scrub forests and dense undergrowth.
There are 15 primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in this ecosection. Fourteen are developed (93 percent). One, the Shushartie, is modiﬁed. Wilkinson (1990) identiﬁes three undeveloped primary watersheds in the 1,000-2,500 ha size range: the Irony (2,300 ha); the Skinner (1,300 ha); and an unnamed watershed (1,000 ha) southeast of the Shushartie.
No entire primary watersheds of any size are protected in this ecosection, and the Shushartie is the only opportunity to protect an undeveloped watershed larger than 5,000 ha.
One primary watershed is partially protected–1,125 ha of the lower Fisherman in Cape Scott Provincial Park. The watershed outside the park is developed.
7.2.6 Queen Charlotte Lowland Ecoregion
The Queen Charlotte Lowland Ecoregion is an area of low relief, poor drainage and extensive muskegs and wetlands in the northeastern Queen Charlotte Islands. This ecoregion is not subdivided into ecosections.
It encompasses 11 primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha, nine in the 5,000-20,000 ha range, and two in the 20,000-100,000 ha range. Two are developed (18 percent); two are modiﬁed; and seven are pristine, including the Hancock at 20,750 ha.
Three pristine primary watersheds–the Hiellen, Oeanda and Cape Ball–are entirely protected in Naikoon Provincial Park. Two others, both modiﬁed, are partially protected in the same park.
7.2.7 Queen Charlotte Ranges Ecoregion
This ecoregion on the central and western portions of the Queen Charlotte Islands is subdivided into two ecosections.
184.108.40.206 Skidegate Plateau Ecosection
The Skidegate Plateau Ecosection is in the lee of the Queen Charlotte Ranges, located on central Graham Island and the northeast portion of Moresby Island.
There are 12 primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in this ecosection. All are developed.
There are no protected or partially protected primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in this ecosection and no pristine or modiﬁed primary watersheds of this size remain.
One smaller pristine primary watershed, Windy Bay (1,850 ha), is protected in the Gwaii Haanas/South Moresby National Park Reserve.
220.127.116.11 Windward Queen Charlotte Mountains Ecosection
The Windward Queen Charlotte Mountains Ecosection is located on the very wet and rugged western side of the Queen Charlotte Islands and southern Moresby Island.
There are seven primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in this ecosection, all in the 5,000-20,000 ha range. Three are developed, and four are pristine.
There are no protected or partially protected primary watersheds larger that 5,000 ha in this ecosection. In the smaller size class of pristine primary watersheds, one–the Mace (2,230 ha)–is protected in the Krajina Ecological Reserve. Three are protected in the Gwaii Haanas/South Moresby National Park Reserve–the Scudder, Luxana and Goski (all 1,100 ha). Two other smaller modiﬁed primary watersheds are protected in the Park Reserve.
7.3 Summary By Ecoregion and Ecosection Units
Two ecoprovinces encompass the coastal temperate forest in BC: the Georgia Depression, which includes southeastern Vancouver Island, the lower mainland and the Gulf Islands; and the Coast and Mountains, which includes the rest of coastal BC.
The Georgia Depression Ecoprovince contains thirty-three primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha. All are developed. Wilkinson (1990) found no primary watersheds larger than 1,000 ha that were undeveloped in the Vancouver Island portion of this ecoprovince.
There are no entire undeveloped primary watersheds that are protected in this ecoprovince, and no opportunities remain.
One–the Campbell–is partially protected in Strathcona Park. The protected area includes a number of tributary watersheds greater than 5,000 ha (Hall and McLellan, 1990; Wilkinson, 1990) but some, if not all of these are developed by this paper’s criteria.
The Coast and Mountains Ecoprovince contains 91 percent (321) of the 354 primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in BC. Sixty-three percent (202) of them are developed; 15 percent (47) are modiﬁed; and 22 percent (72) are pristine. This ecoprovince contains all of the undeveloped watersheds in the coastal temperate forest of BC.
Their distribution, however, is not spread evenly among ecoregion and ecosection units. Six of the units–the Southern Paciﬁc Ranges, Eastern Paciﬁc Ranges, Outer Fjordland, Skidegate Plateau, Northern Island Mountains and Nass Ranges–contain 20 percent (65) of the primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in the ecoprovince, but they are all developed.
The other seven ecosections contain all of the 72 pristine and 47 modiﬁed primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha. Most of these are in the Kitimat Ranges unit, which contains 29 percent (103) of the 354 primary watersheds in the coastal temperate forest in BC. Thirty-nine of the watersheds in this ecosection are pristine–53 percent of all pristine primary watersheds in BC. Twenty-eight watersheds are modiﬁed–61 percent of the BC total.
Five ecosections contain primary watersheds larger than 20,000 ha that are undeveloped. The Kitimat Ranges contains eight of the 11 pristine primary watersheds larger than 20,000 ha, and seven of the eight watersheds in this size range that are modiﬁed. It also contains the only primary watershed in BC larger than 100,000 ha that is undeveloped.
The Hecate Lowland, Windward Island Mountains and Queen Charlotte Lowland Ecosections each contain one pristine primary watershed larger than 20,000 ha. The North Paciﬁc Ranges Ecosection contains one in this size range that is modiﬁed.
Three of the 13 ecosections or ecoregions in the Coast and Mountains Ecoprovince contain the nine primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in the coastal temperate forest that are entirely protected in a Park or Recreational Area. The Kitimat Ranges contains ﬁve of these–four in the Fjordland Recreational Area and one in the Gitnadoix Recreational Area. The Windward Island Mountains contains one–the Moyeha in Strathcona Provincial Park. In the Queen Charlotte Lowland, three are protected in Naikoon Provincial Park.
The other 10 ecosections or ecoregions in the Coast and Mountains Ecoprovince have no entire protected watersheds larger than 5,000 ha. Six of these, as noted above, have no remaining undeveloped primary watersheds.
The four remaining ecosections without entire protected primary watersheds do present options. The North Paciﬁc Ranges and Hecate Lowlands each contain ten or more undeveloped watersheds, including some larger than 20,000 ha. The Nahwitti Lowland contains one modiﬁed primary watershed. The Windward Queen Charlotte Mountains contains four pristine primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha.
8 SUMMARY OF PROTECTED PRIMARY WATERSHEDS
There are nine entirely protected primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in the coastal temperate forests of BC. These are listed in Appendix 2 and illustrated in Figure 2. Three are in Naikoon Provincial Park, four in the Fjordland Recreational Area, one in the Gitnadoix Recreational Area, and one in Strathcona Provincial Park. These represent three of the 17 ecosections or ecoregions in the coastal temperate forest of BC.
Only one of these, the Gitnadoix, is larger than 20,000 ha. Six are pristine. The other three have small areas of past logging and are modiﬁed.
Thirteen primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha in the coastal temperate forest are partially protected (see Appendix 3). Six of these are very large watersheds in which most of the protected area is not coastal temperate forest. Only one of the partially protected watersheds, the Megin on Vancouver Island, is undeveloped. The other 12 are all developed in the unprotected portions of the watershed, and in some cases have been developed within the protected area.
A total of 22 smaller, undeveloped primary watersheds in the 1,000-5,000 ha range have been identiﬁed as entirely protected in Parks, Recreational Areas or Ecological Reserves (see Appendix 4). These are distributed in ﬁve ecoregions or ecosections, three of which do not contain any entirely protected watershed larger than 5,000 ha (Hecate Lowlands, Skidegate Plateau and Windward Queen Charlotte Mountains); and two of which do (Kitimat Ranges and Windward Island Mountains).
In summary, six of the 17 ecosections in the coastal temperate forest of BC contain representative, protected, entire primary watersheds larger than 1,000 ha. Three ecosections are represented by protected primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha. Two ecosections that have no representation–the Northern Paciﬁc Ranges and the Nahwitti Lowlands–do contain undeveloped primary watersheds larger than 5,000 ha that could be protected.
THE COASTAL TEMPERATE RAIN FOREST
An Ecosystem Management Perspective
By Spencer B. Beebe & Edward C. Wolf
The issue of logging in the coastal temperate forests of western Canada and the United States has been marked by controversy and sometimes by bitter disputes between industry and conservation interests. While the media often focus on confrontational aspects of the issue, there have also been positive results that deserve better attention. One has been that society’s growing awareness of environmental values is changing the way we look at forests and creating new demands on resource managers. Under the rubric of Sustainable Development, we have begun to realize that economic security depends upon environmental integrity, and that industrial development that does not respect ecological limits cannot be tolerated.
But what are “ecological limits?” The search for answers has driven the scientiﬁc community to rethink old approaches to treating trees, wildlife and ﬁsh as separate entities and managing them as commodities in isolation from each other. We have begun to think in terms of ecosystems–of relationships between climate, geography and vegetation; of microbes and nutrient cycles; and of myriad species that were formerly of interest only to academics. New studies of forest ecology are providing perspectives that range from a global context through to local, site-speciﬁc forest types. And with the new insights, ideas for improved approaches to conservation and management of our forests are emerging–which is perhaps one of the most positive results of the debate on old growth forests.
One effort to contribute to a global perspective is a recent study by US researchers Paul Alaback and James Weigand1, which describes a narrow band of land along coastlines in the temperate zone of both hemispheres as supporting a unique forest type, provisionally called the “Coastal Temperate Rain Forest.” This forest type or zone is distinguished not so much by its species, which can vary considerably, but rather by a unique set of ecological characteristics.
Coastal temperate rain forests present an ecological analogy to the biological phenomenon called “convergent evolution”–whereby unrelated species, in adapting to comparable environments in different parts of the world, evolve with similar physical and behavioural characteristics. Likewise, coastal forests in the temperate latitudes of both hemispheres often present striking similarities in structure and ecosystem function, despite obvious differences in species composition, site history and location. In southern Chile, for example, they contain broad-leaved and coniferous tree species, quite distinct from the ﬁr, spruce and hemlock associations of western British Columbia.
Yet no matter where they occur, coastal temperate rain forests are clearly marked by the cycling of water between land and sea. Indeed, Alaback and Weigand have found three principle features that distinguish them from other temperate forest types: proximity to oceans (or in one unusual case, to a large inland sea); the presence of high mountains; and, high rainfall levels distributed throughout the year (2000 millimetres has been suggested as an annual minimum for the zone). In many ways, the productivity, biological diversity, and structural diversity of these forests can be described as the result of a unique set of dynamic links between marine and terrestrial environments. Though they may contain less biological diversity than several other forest types, their complement of plant and animal species is nonetheless striking –distinguished in part by the linkages between land and sea.
Abundant rainfall distributed through all seasons, moderate temperatures and exposure to open-ocean weather systems all promote forest growth and structural diversiﬁcation. Frequent fog nourishes an abundance of epiphytes in the canopy layer, such as mosses and lichens. The maritime climate also profoundly affects natural disturbance regimes. In contrast to many other temperate forest ecosystems, ﬁre is relatively rare as a major disturbance. In fact, community- and landscape-level disturbances are rare, with the signiﬁcant exception of clearcut logging. But frequent, localized disturbances–in particular wind-throws and rain-induced landslides on unstable slopes–create a multitude of small openings in the forest. These give rise to a multi-story canopy, characterized by mixed age classes of trees, including large numbers of dead and dying trees. The result is a patch-work mosaic of structural diversity, and thus a wide variety of microhabitats for life forms.
Another ecological characteristic of coastal temperate rain forests is the abundance of riparian habitats. Intricate networks of streams, wetlands and estuaries create a variety of habitats for freshwater and anadromous ﬁsh, for wildlife dependent on aquatic habitats, and for plants adapted to wet conditions. Stream courses create a high degree of landscape connectivity, transporting nutrients through watersheds, and creating natural corridors for animal movement.
The combination of all of these characteristics makes coastal temperate rain forests among the most productive of all ecosystems on Earth–they accumulate as much as 500-2,000 metric tonnes of organic matter per hectare, compared to a hundred tonnes or so in tropical rainforests. Trees grow to enormous size and unusual age. In both the northern and southern hemispheres, cedars in coastal temperate rain forests can grow over six metres in diameter and reach over 2,000 years of age. The tallest Sitka spruce on record is over 95 metres, located in BC’s Carmanah valley. Due to slow rates of decomposition, organic debris (fallen trees, branches, etc) can persist at ground level for centuries, carpeted by diverse ferns, mosses, lichens and liverworts. Trees are shallow-rooted, due to an abundance of nutrients at the soil surface. Many regenerate on fallen “nurse logs” that eventually decompose beneath their roots, leaving stilt-borne mature trees susceptible to wind-throw, thereby reinforcing the dynamics of structural diversity.
One of the most distinctive features of coastal temperate rain forests is the linkage of terrestrial and marine ecosystems. Moisture, evaporated over the oceans, reaches coastal forests as fog or rainfall, contributing trace elements and other nutrients to the biogeochemical processes associated with forest growth. As water cycles through a watershed, it leaches minerals from the soil, distributes nutrients and carries decaying biomass to estuaries and near-shore marine ecosystems. In fact, the coastal temperate rain forest is not exclusively a terrestrial ecosystem at all, but reaches out beyond the continental margins to inﬂuence life in the sea. The relationship is reciprocal–affecting the productivity of both ecosystems–as symbolized for many people by the Paciﬁc salmon returning to the streams of coastal temperate rain forests to spawn. Clear, fresh waters ﬂowing over silt-free gravel beds create the conditions that salmonids require for laying and incubating their eggs. Moss-laden watersheds act as a sponge, absorbing and ﬁltering heavy rainfall before releasing it slowly into stream channels. Trees that fall across stream beds moderate the ﬂow of water and provide juvenile ﬁsh with cover from predators. They also create habitat for aquatic vegetation and insects, and thus forage for the young of those salmonids that spend their ﬁrst year in fresh water. The returning adults are an important food source for humankind, other mammals and scavenging birds; and when spawning is completed, their carcasses are absorbed into stream and estuary nutrient regimes.
This reciprocal relationship is also evident in the large numbers of seabirds that return for a month or so each year to nest in coastal temperate rain forests. The elusive marbled murrelet, a threatened species, is thought to nest primarily on moss platforms that grow on the branches of large old growth trees in the upper canopy. The alcids, or burrow nesters, come in from the open ocean to lay and incubate their eggs in sizeable colonies in excavations along the shores and among the roots of old growth coastal forests. Usually, one of the adult seabird pair spends the day at sea, returning at dusk and depositing a nitrate- and phosphate-rich load of excrement at the entrance to the nest. Washed into the soil by winter’s rains, the feces of seabird colonies that number thousands of nesting pairs make a signiﬁcant contribution to the nutrient budget of the forest.
The narrow maritime fringe where coastal temperate rain forests occur has not been previously described at a global level, and many of the regions that sustain them are poorly documented. Alaback and Weigand’s preliminary survey describes the probable original global distribution of the coastal temperate rain forest zone, according to climate and topography. Global occurrences are illustrated on the map located in the pocket on the inside back cover of this publication; a second map provides more detailed illustration of its distribution on the west coast of North America.
North America’s northwestern continental margin has by far the largest remaining contiguous coastal temperate rain forest on Earth, ranging from Kodiak Island in Alaska south through British Columbia and Washington to Oregon’s Siuslaw River. Elsewhere in the northern hemisphere, Japan and southern Norway contain some natural forests that ﬁt the deﬁnition. Unlogged coastal temperate rain forests were formerly found in Iceland, the west coasts of Ireland and Scotland, and a narrow crescent along the Black Sea in Turkey and Soviet Georgia. In the southern hemisphere, the largest remaining coastal temperate rain forest is in Chile, located from Arauco south into Magallanes Province. In New Zealand, a signiﬁcant area is found on the west coast of South Island. The Australian island of Tasmania has a large zone of broad-leaved coastal temperate rain forest, which harbours the most ancient elements of Australia’s ﬂora.
On a global scale, coastal temperate rain forests are relatively rare. The temperate forest biome in general covers some 1.3 billion hectares, or nine percent of the earth’s land area. But only 31 million hectares of this is classiﬁable as coastal temperate rain forest, which amounts to 2.4 percent of the temperate forest, and 0.2 percent of the planet’s land area. By comparison, tropical rain forests originally encompassed slightly more than two billion hectares, or 14 percent of the earth’s land area–of which by most accounts one-half has been destroyed.
What remains of unlogged, natural coastal temperate rain forests has yet to be calculated, but it is obviously diminished from its original range–probably by one-half as well. In North America, clearcut logging of old growth softwoods in the coastal zone is widespread. In Chile and New Zealand, much of the drier native forest has been converted into monocultural conifer plantations, while logging pressure continues on the remaining natural forests. In Great Britain, particularly in the Scottish Highlands, once extensive coastal temperate rain forests have been converted to overgrazed heaths and plantations of Sitka spruce (with seeds imported from North America). The ecology of remnant natural forests has also been affected by factors other than logging. For example, in New Zealand and in the Queen Charlotte Islands alike, deer and elk populations introduced around the beginning of the century have grown unchecked by natural predators. Their browsing has modiﬁed understory vegetation and forest regeneration patterns.
The original coastal temperate rain forests of North America covered more than 14 million hectares, or 45 percent of the zone worldwide. Currently, North America probably contains more than one-half of the global remnants of these undeveloped forests, which include the most diverse conifer-dominated coastal forests. In southeast Alaska, western hemlock-Sitka spruce forests cover some 5.5 million hectares, about 40 percent of which are protected. Yet because these are at the northern limit for the forest type, they are neither as productive nor as diverse as those to the south. At their southern limit in the northwest US, the coastal temperate rain forests have been subjected to more than a century of commercial logging, especially in the most productive forests at lower elevations. While national and state parks protect some natural forests, only one intact coastal watershed larger than 10,000 hectares remains unlogged in the lower 48 states–the Cummins Creek/Rock Creek/10 Mile Creek complex in Oregon’s Siuslaw National Forest.
By a process of elimination then, British Columbia occupies a position of central, indeed global importance. Here the coastal temperate forest zone blankets 6.5 million hectares over the full length of the coastline. It contains a wide variety of local forest types within the Coastal Western Hemlock and Coastal Douglas-ﬁr biogeoclimatic zones. And in marked contrast to the US, signiﬁcant opportunities still remain to protect large, unlogged and highly productive coastal watersheds. In “An Inventory of Watersheds in the Coastal Temperate Forests of BC,” author Keith Moore identiﬁes 72 watersheds over 5,000 hectares in size that are pristine, and a further 46 that are hardly affected by industrial development. Twenty of these are greater than 20,000 hectares; and one, the Kitlope (275,000 ha), appears to be the largest undeveloped coastal temperate watershed in the world. While the biota and productivity values in these watersheds are unique and in some cases exceptional, their ecosystem characteristics are nonetheless similar to the coastal forests of Chile, southern Norway, and Tasmania. These represent an important conservation opportunity–not just for BC and Canada, but for the world as a whole.
Coastal temperate rain forests cannot be understood or properly managed simply by attending to tree and animal species of commercial importance. In order to balance society’s economic imperatives with nature’s ecological realities, an ecosystem management approach is clearly required.
This approach would include a comprehensive account of the values that an ecosystem contains, and of the natural and human forces that interact within it. It would address the terrestrial-marine linkages of coastal temperate rain forests as a matter of course. While the ecological rationale for doing so is obvious, there are persuasive economic reasons as well. Both the fishing and the logging industries are crucial to local economies in this ecosystem. Yet their ecological and economic interdependence–including the degree to which logging affects ﬁshery productivity–has not received the depth of analysis it deserves.
Similarly, the tourism and recreation industry sectors depend to a large extent upon intact forests as destinations, yet the opportunity costs of logging in coastal temperate rain forests remain undetermined. The same is true of the “downstream” costs to community water supplies, ﬂood control and other watershed values. Industrial impacts, often written off as unquantiﬁable and unavoidable costs of doing business, need to be considered as ecological disturbances and gauged against the ecosystem’s natural disturbance regime. Only in this context can tolerance levels be set for cumulative impacts on the ecosystem, and conservation requirements designed to avoid crossing those ecological thresholds beyond which critical environmental values will probably be sacriﬁced. If our pledge to future generations to sustain biological diversity and ecological productivity is sincere–and if we are going to deliver on it with some sense of assurance–then such measures must be established and enforced. These then are the ecological limits that our industrial pursuits cannot be allowed to exceed.
To implement this ecosystem management approach, scientists will require suitable conditions for research and analysis. In the case of the coastal temperate rain forest–an ecosystem governed by hydrology and climate–the factors that shape water’s abundance and ﬂow patterns are crucial to understanding the forest itself. So one of the most appropriate contexts in which to investigate ecological processes is the watershed. A contiguous drainage basin is a physiographically distinct unit–hydrologically separated and deﬁned by the height of land along its perimeter.
The ideal scientiﬁc baseline is an area in which natural processes are not measurably affected by human impacts. Existing studies show that even small, patchy clearcuts within a watershed can have marked impacts on bird species diversity, drainage patterns, slope stability, windthrow disturbance, and even soil microbial diversity. Thus, watersheds that are not reserved as intact, natural units may fail to provide reliable baseline information for an ecosystem approach to natural resource management. They may also fail to protect genetic diversity values. Watersheds have been shown to be pertinent to genetic diversity in various species with ecosystem-level importance. Salmon and stickleback show measurable chromosomal variation between watersheds in coastal North America. Researchers have also found evidence that endemism in aquatic insects in coastal temperate rain forests is likewise attributable to different drainages.
So watersheds as analytical boundaries bring topographic, hydrological, and often biological clarity to ecosystem analysis. By comparison, many land use administration boundaries are ecologically incoherent, and can hamper efforts to foster ecological awareness, let alone to manage cumulative development impacts. What is called for then, is a program of long- and short-term research and monitoring–with intact, natural watersheds providing the scientiﬁc benchmarks against which changes in ecosystems managed for timber production or other development can be compared.
Another signiﬁcant reason for reserving large, intact watersheds comes from the science of conservation biology. As described in the theory of island biogeography, there is a direct relationship between the size of a protected area and the number of native species it can sustain. Other factors being equal, a single large reserve will sustain more species more effectively than will a number of small reserves of the same total area. Experience in ecosystems around the planet has made it clear that, if a system of protected areas is expected to sustain native species over time–especially carnivores–then it must include large, contiguous areas connected by migration corridors. In the coastal temperate rain forest, entire watersheds containing a full continuum of ecological zones, from alpine to intertidal, may provide the most appropriate boundaries for suitably large reserves.
In addition to these biological reasons, there are social arguments in support of setting aside intact watersheds. Public perceptions and demands have taken a central role in land use planning, and wild places have become an important social amenity in an industrialized world. People value them and want to protect them, not just for the opportunity to experience them, but also for their own intrinsic values. And because we have now acknowledged the needs of future generations, the sustainability imperative has entered the equation, necessitating some level of assurance that reserves will function as wild systems into the future. In this respect, intact watersheds offer a conceptual clarity and ecological integrity that is impossible with systems of small, disconnected reserves of fractured remnants of natural communities.
Ultimately, reconciling conservation needs and commodity uses in the coastal watersheds of British Columbia will depend on political choices informed by a deeper understanding of the marine and terrestrial ecosystems found in these forests at land’s end. Along with Keith Moore’s watersheds inventory, the ecological approach to the management of coastal temperate rain forests proposed here represents a modest step toward such an understanding.
In the opinion of Conservation International, which operates in some 20 countries globally, British Columbia retains a number of signiﬁcant options to adopt innovative management strategies that balance economic development with conservation requirements. In striving to achieve that goal, the province may well serve as a model for effective conservation measures elsewhere on this troubled planet. Ecotrust and CI are pleased to have had the opportunity to support the inventory, and to make this contribution to the initiation of the BC Endangered Spaces Project.
Spencer B. Beebe is the founder and President of Ecotrust, an afﬁliate of Conservation International, located in Portland, Oregon. Edward C. Wolf is a biologist and writer with Conservation International’s Communications Program, in Washington, DC. The authors would like to acknowledge the editorial assistance of John Broadhead and Ken Margolis.
Watersheds in Coastal BC
(larger than 5,000 ha)
Fraser Lower Mainland (FLM) 41
South Coast (SC) 42
East Vancouver Island (EVI) 43
West Vancouver Island (WVI) 44
Mid Coast (MC) 46
North Coast (NC) 48
Queen Charlotte Islands (QCI) 51
Appendix 2 Protected Watersheds in Coastal BC 52
(larger than 5,000 ha)
Appendix 3 Partially Protected Watersheds in Coastal BC 53
(larger than 5,000 ha)
Appendix 4 Smaller Protected Watersheds in Coastal BC 54
Information is current to December 1990.
NOTE: APPENDICES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE AS DBF AND MS EXCEL SPREADSHEET FILES
FRASER LOWER MAINLAND
Campbell 900-0005 FLM FRL 21,400 dev no
Capilano 900-0704 FLM SPR 20,125 dev no
Chapman 900-1198 FLM FRL 6,937 dev no
Chilliwack 100-0655 FLM SPR 162,800 dev no
Coquihalla 100-1152 FLM EPR 72,375 dev no
Coquitlam 100-0245 FLM SPR 25,750 dev no
Emory 100-1253 FLM EPR 6,375 dev no
Furry 900-0848 FLM SPR 5,312 dev no
Gray 900-1678 FLM FRL 5,750 dev no
Harrison 110-0000 FLM EPR 786,750 dev part 76,000 Portions of Snowcap, Tuwasus, Billygoat, Kakila and Ure watersheds (all tributaries of Lillooet R) protected in Garibaldi PP, but lower reaches outside the park are logged. About 23% of the protected area is coastal temperate forest (CWH).
Indian 900-0561 FLM SPR 18,750 dev no
Lynn 900-0667 FLM SPR 5,125 dev no
McNab 900-1056 FLM SPR 6,750 dev no
McNair 900-1090 FLM SPR 5,750 dev no
Nickomeckl 900-0043 FLM FRL 17,500 dev no
Norrish 100-0638 FLM SPR 12,375 dev no
Pitt 100-0266 FLM SPR 168,437 dev part 41,000 The upper Pitt watershed above Pitt L is protected in Garibaldi PP. About 50% of the protected area is coastal temperate forest (CWH).
Rainy 900-1084 FLM SPR 6,687 dev no
Ruby 900-1466 FLM FRL 7,062 dev no
Ruby 100-1045 FLM SPR 8,062 dev no
Sechelt 900-1767 FLM SPR 8,625 dev no
Serpentine 900-0055 FLM FRL 11,000 dev no
Seymour 900-0659 FLM SPR 18,000 dev no
Silverhope 100-1127 FLM SPR 32,582 dev no
Siwash 100-1332 FLM EPR 7,375 dev no
Spuzzum 100-1411 FLM EPR 22,312 dev no
Squamish 900-0969 FLM EPR 420,700 dev no An ER on Baynes Island in the Squamish R is 71 ha.
Stave 100-0469 FLM SPR 101,813 dev part 32,500 The upper Stave and Tingle Cr (tributary to Stave L) are protected in Judge Howay RA and Golden Ears and Garibaldi PP’s. Part of the protected area was logged in the past. About 12% of the protected area is coastal temperate forest (CWH).
Stawamus 900-0903 FLM SPR 5,250 dev no
Wahleach 100-1016 FLM SPR 12,375 dev no
Ahnuhati 900-6027 SC NPR 19,125 mod no About 250 ha logged 1979-83 on both sides of creek, mostly on E side.
Ahta 900-6401 SC NPR 6,750 mod no 50 ha old logging in watershed around estuary. MB 5-Year Plan shows logging in 1993.
Apple 900-4692 SC NPR 19,625 dev no
Bear 900-4108 SC NPR 29,500 dev no
Brem 900-3574 SC NPR 22,437 dev no
Brittain 900-2440 SC SPR 13,062 dev no
Charles 900-6856 SC NPR 8,249 dev no
Clowholm 900-1782 SC SPR 38,000 dev no
Deserted 900-2200 SC SPR 13,187 dev no
Forbes 900-3319 SC NPR 5,375 dev no
Franklin 900-5892 SC NPR 54,125 dev no
Fulmore 900-5207 SC OUF 9,687 dev no
Gilford 905-5575-782 SC OUF 6,200 dev no
Heydon 900-4772 SC OUF 5,875 dev no
Homathko 900-4065 SC NPR 563,062 dev no
Homfray 900-3340 SC NPR 5,437 dev no
Huaskin L 900-7502 SC OUF 11,062 dev no
Kakweiken 900-6319 SC NPR 30,999 dev no
Kingcome 900-6813 SC NPR 131,687 dev no
Kliniklini 900-5923 SC NPR 564,374 dev no
Kwalate 900-6086 SC NPR 7,750 mod no 40 ha logged on lower river in 1930s, extending 300 m upstream. Road building planned for 1991.
Lang 900-2775 SC FRL 12,875 dev no
Lois 900-2764 SC SPR 45,937 dev no
Loose L 905-5575-887 SC OUF 7,188 dev no
Main L 905-2910-769 SC SOG 7,062 dev no
Matsiu 900-6138 SC NPR 6,437 mod no 2 km road built for marble quarry 1987-88. No logging except road right of way.
Mellersh 900-4134 SC NPR 5,187 dev no
Misery 900-1804 SC SPR 6,187 dev no
Moh 900-4245 SC NPR 11,062 dev no
Orford 900-3910 SC NPR 43,312 dev no
Paradise 900-4215 SC NPR 9,375 pris no
Phillips 900-4473 SC NPR 46,375 dev no
Powell 900-2843 SC SPR 144,999 dev no
Quatam 900-3684 SC NPR 16,000 dev no
Rainbow 900-8780 SC NPR 5,250 dev no
Read 900-5008 SC OUF 6,312 dev no
Seymour 900-8753 SC NPR 42,250 dev no
Sim 900-5957 SC NPR 30,562 dev no
Skwawka 900-2324 SC SPR 34,567 dev no
Sliamon 900-2854 SC FRL 5,250 dev no
Southgate 900-4037 SC NPR 200,687 dev no
Stafford 900-4708 SC NPR 37,062 dev no
Stakawus 900-2190 SC SPR 7,999 dev no
Taaltz 900-8656 SC NPR 6,062 dev no
Tahumming 900-3502 SC NPR 25,625 dev no
Teaquahan 900-4061 SC NPR 30,062 dev no
Theodosia 900-3088 SC EPR 14,437 dev no
Toba 900-3488 SC NPR 181,187 dev no
Tom Browne 900-5695 SC OUF 12,562 dev no
Tzoonie 900-1944 SC SPR 17,750 dev no
Vancouver 900-2095 SC SPR 15,437 dev no
Wahkash 900-5861 SC NPR 15,374 dev no
Wakeman 900-6926 SC NPR 78,437 dev no
Waump 900-9479 SC NPR 10,812 mod no Total of 216 ha logged 1947 and 1979-87.
EAST VANCOUVER ISLAND
Adam 920-7580 EVI NIM 68,791 dev no
Amor de Cosmos 920-7007 EVI LIM 14,951 dev no
Black 920-5951 EVI NAL 7,165 dev no
Campbell 920-6279 EVI LIM 169,816 dev part 100,000 Several entire tributary watersheds of Buttle L (Wolf, Phillips and Ralph) are protected in Strathcona PP; all >5,000 ha and unlogged. Cervus Cr (tributary to the Elk R flowing into upper Campbell L) is also in Strathcona PP. The protected area includes an active mine and extensive past logging.
Chemanius 920-3035 EVI LIM 35,500 dev no
Cluxewe 920-8515 EVI NIM 9,984 dev no
Courtenay 920-5532 EVI NAL 86,170 dev no 3,000 The upper Puntledge is protected in Strathcona PP. Part of the area within the park has been logged. Protected area is 3.5% of total watershed area.
Cowichan 920-2577 EVI LIM 124,496 dev no
Englishman 920-4628 EVI LIM 32,397 dev no
Keogh 920-8669 EVI NWL 12,685 dev no
Kokish 920-8109 EVI NIM 36,902 dev no
Little Qualicum 920-4818 EVI LIM 23,660 dev no
Millstone 920-3954 EVI LIM 9,854 dev no
Mohun 920-6431 EVI LIM 13,124 dev no
Nahwitti 920-9537 EVI NWL 22,503 dev no
Naka 920-7695 EVI NIM 5,372 dev no
Nanaimo 920-3844 EVI LIM 84,100 dev no
Nimpkish 920-8259 EVI NIM 176,000 dev no
Oyster 920-6004 EVI LIM 37,927 dev no
Pye 920-6863 EVI LIM 8,798 dev no
Qualicum 920-4907 EVI LIM 15,073 dev no
Quatse 920-8962 EVI NWL 8,045 dev no
Salmon 920-7253 EVI LIM 133,382 dev no 9,250 The upper Salmon is protected in Strathcona PP. The area within the park has not been logged. Protected area is 7% of the total watershed area.
Shushartie 920-9404 EVI NWL 7,300 mod no 24 ha logged in upper watershed in 1988 and 1989.
Songhees 920-9146 EVI NWL 8,510 dev no
Stranby 920-9695 EVI NWL 15,579 dev no
Trent 920-5458 EVI NAL 6,439 dev no
Tsable 920-5276 EVI NAL 10,274 dev no
Tsitika 920-7821 EVI NIM 32,500 dev no 2,000 Parts of the Tsitika and tributaries are protected in six separate ER’s covering 6% of the total watershed area. A 1990 report states that the Tsitika is 39,500 ha, 5.1% is protected, 5.5% is deferred for wildlife habitat, and 8.8% is logged.
Tsulgate 920-9005 EVI NWL 5,975 dev no
WEST VANCOUVER ISLAND
Artlish 930-6711 WVI WIM 12,506 dev no
Bedwell 930-3553 WVI WIM 21,050 dev part 10,700 The upper Bedwell is in Strathcona PP. Most of the lower slopes on both sides of the watershed within the park have been logged.
Bulson 930-3456 WVI WIM 7,287 dev no Total of 160 ha logged in two cutblocks in lower watershed is 2.2% of watershed area.
Burman 930-5074 WVI WIM 24,299 dev part 19,375 The upper Burman is within Strathcona PP. Logging extends up to the park boundary but not beyond.
Carmanah 930-0658 WVI WIM 6,616 dev part 3,500 164 ha logged in upper watershed in 1986 is 2.4% of watershed area. Roads enter lower watershed at three locations. The lower half of the watershed now in a PP Reserve is contiguous with protected area in Pacific Rim NPR.
Cayeghle 930-8471 WVI WIM 8,920 dev no
China 930-1323 WVI LIM 11,369 dev no
Coleman 930-1242 WVI WIM 8,932 dev no
Conuma 930-5385 WVI WIM 12,378 dev no
Corrigan 930-1294 WVI LIM 13,643 dev no
Cous 930-1430 WVI LIM 7,668 dev no
Cypre 930-3685 WVI WIM 5,803 dev no
East 930-7824 WVI WIM 5,033 pris no
Effingham 930-1964 WVI WIM 6,037 dev no
Escalante 930-4808 WVI WIM 8,004 dev no
Fisherman 930-9920 WVI NWL 8,380 dev part 1,125 The lower watershed is in Cape Scott PP. About 450 ha in upper watershed are logged.
Gold 930-5116 WVI NIM 102,812 dev part 20,700 Parts of the Upper Gold watershed are protected in Strathcona PP. The watershed around Gold L is protected but part of this area has been logged. The upper Ucona, a tributary of the Gold, is protected and the entire watershed above Donner L is unlogged. Part of an adjacent tributary watershed is protected.
Goodspeed 930-8948 WVI NWL 9,801 dev no
Gordon 930-0547 WVI WIM 29,821 dev no
Henderson L 930-1625 WVI WIM 14,245 dev no
Hesquiat L 930-4614 WVI WIM 6,207 dev no
Jordan 930-0373 WVI LIM 16,042 dev no
Kaouk 930-6657 WVI WIM 11,567 dev no
Keith 930-8054 WVI WIM 6,015 dev no
Kennedy 930-3064 WVI WIM 53,575 dev no
Klanawa 930-0755 WVI WIM 24,264 dev no
Klaskish 930-7841 WVI WIM 5,189 mod no No logging in watershed. 5.6 km of road built in early 1970s and small logging camp on estuary. Two km of road built in summer of 1990 along north side of lower watershed. A 132 ha Ecological Reserve was established in 1990 on the estuary and a small part of the lower river.
Kleeptee 930-5210 WVI WIM 5,312 dev no
Klootchlimmis 930-8320 WVI WIM 7,800 dev no
Koprino 930-9259 WVI NWL 5,898 dev no
Leiner 930-5676 WVI WIM 10,417 dev no
Loss 930-0443 WVI WIM 7,421 dev no
Macjack 930-9707 WVI NWL 12,083 dev no
Maggie 930-2338 WVI WIM 6,016 dev no
Mahatta 930-8239 WVI WIM 11,945 dev no
Marble 930-8652 WVI NWL 52,602 dev no
McCurdy 930-5145 WVI WIM 7,009 dev no
Megin 930-4135 WVI WIM 24,299 pris part 3,000 Some logging on small IR at mouth of stream. Less than 5 ha logged in watershed. The upper Mitla and upper reaches of two other tributaries of the Megin are in Strathcona PP and are unlogged. There is a 50 ha ER in the lower watershed. About 50% of the protected area is coastal temperate forest (CWH); remainder is subalpine forest (MH) and mountain peaks (AT).
Moyeha 930-3918 WVI WIM 18,220 pris park 18,220 Entire watershed is within Strathcona PP.
Muir 930-0303 WVI LIM 6,515 dev no
Nahmint 930-1508 WVI WIM 19,059 dev no
Nasparti 930-7470 WVI WIM 6,020 pris no
Nitnat 930-0717 WVI WIM 71,340 dev no
Power 930-7323 WVI WIM 5,488 mod no 50 ha logged upstream of Power L in 1940s; 28 ha logged on W side of river in early 1960s.
San Josef 930-9794 WVI NWL 10,575 dev no
San Juan 930-0538 WVI WIM 67,880 dev no
Sarita 930-1108 WVI WIM 19,195 dev no
Somass 930-1374 WVI LIM 128,400 dev no
Sooke 930-0221 WVI LIM 34,088 dev no
Sydney 930-4338 WVI WIM 5,885 pris no
Tahsis 930-5691 WVI WIM 7,769 dev no
Tahsish 930-6733 WVI WIM 27,213 dev no Tributary watersheds, the Kwois and Silburn, and the lower Tahsish are pristine. 70 ha in the estuary and the lower are protected in an ER. An additional ER is proposed.
Tlupana 930-5342 WVI WIM 10,700 dev no
Tofino 930-3160 WVI WIM 5,602 dev no
Toquart 930-2305 WVI WIM 10,251 dev no
Tranquil 930-3245 WVI WIM 5,989 dev no
Walbran 930-0632 WVI WIM 12,986 dev no
Wanakana 930-8842 WVI NWL 5,131 dev no
Waukwaas 930-8711 WVI NWL 14,218 dev no
Zeballos 930-5822 WVI WIM 18,018 dev no
Allard 910-1107 MC HEL 7,437 pris no
Asseek 910-2737 MC NPR 5,500 dev no
Bella Coola 910-2907 MC NPR 294,861 dev part 159,500 The northside of the Talchako and its tributaries are protected in Tweedsmuir PP; but only 7% is coastal temperate forest (CWH). Most of the balance is mountain and interior forest types.
Carter 910-5246 MC KIR 11,656 pris no
Chicchic L 915-0930-287 MC HEL 6,562 pris no Hakai RA includes small area at mouth of stream.
Clayton Falls 910-2896 MC NPR 9,312 dev no
Clyak 910-1412 MC NPR 23,620 dev no
Dean 910-3187 MC KIR 782,999 dev part 307,500 The Middle Dean and tributaries are protected in Tweedsmuir PP. Only 3% is coastal temperate forest (CWH); and most of the balance is mountain and interior forest types.
Doc 910-2263 MC HEL 11,875 dev no
Elizabeth L 910-1937 MC HEL 6,687 pris no
Ellerslie 910-4330 MC KIR 18,275 pris no Some logging on bay but none in watershed.
Farquar 915-2265-558 MC KIR 6,812 dev no
Four Lakes 915-2265-409 MC HEL 6,250 pris no
Hotsprings 910-2647 MC NPR 11,437 pris no
Humpback 910-3162 MC KIR 5,250 mod no 68 ha logged on both sides of stream in 1958.
Ickna 910-2720 MC NPR 14,625 mod no 75 ha on both sides of mouth logged in 1957.
Ingram-Mooto 910-4398 MC KIR 9,844 pris no
Johnson 910-1189 MC HEL 6,750 mod no One very small old block north side of creek; forest cover map shows old road.
Jump Across 910-3134 MC KIR 19,437 mod no 50 ha logged on lower north side in 1960.
Kainet 910-5000 MC KIR 7,844 pris RA
Kilbella 910-1309 MC NPR 72,427 dev no
Kimsquit 910-3224 MC KIR 103,375 dev no
Koeye 910-2122 MC HEL 18,625 mod no 90 ha current logging and about 4-5 km of road approved in Upper Koeye. About 100 ha in lower river selectively logged in 1920s. Limestone quarry on Lower Koeye 1952-76; cabins and equipment remain. 30 ha logged on private land in Koeye Bay in 1980s are not in watershed.
Kwakwa 915-4820-599 MC HEL 7,065 pris no
Kwatna 910-2465 MC NPR 39,437 dev no
Lard 910-4989 MC KIR 5,312 mod RA 75 ha logged in 1950s on both sides at mouth.
Link-Braden 910-3728 MC KIR 31,937 dev no
Lockhart Gordon 910-1074 MC NPR 11,812 pris no About 200 m of old road shown on forest cover maps but no logging history recorded. The watershed is considered pristine because area affected is less than 5 ha.
Milton 910-1460 MC NPR 6,562 dev no
Mussel 910-5142 MC KIR 16,748 mod RA 72 ha logged on lower south side in 1950s.
Nascall 910-3394 MC KIR 38,750 mod no Private land at mouth logged in 1988, but most is on bay, not in watershed.
Necleetsconnay 910-2916 MC KIR 28,125 dev no
Nekite 910-0417 MC NPR 40,437 dev no
Nieumiamus 910-2931 MC KIR 5,687 dev no
Noeick 910-2764 MC NPR 49,875 dev no
Nooseseck 910-2962 MC KIR 13,375 dev no
Nootum 910-2259 MC HEL 9,750 dev no
Nusach 910-3109 MC KIR 9,125 pris no
Poison Cove 910-5134 MC KIR 10,625 pris RA
Quatlena 910-2403 MC NPR 14,250 dev no
Sandell 910-1213 MC HEL 12,562 pris no
Skowquiltz 910-3340 MC KIR 28,875 pris no Some logging on bay but none in watershed.
Smokehouse 910-0256 MC NPR 38,750 mod no Long Lake was A-frame logged in 1962-66. Smokehouse watershed above lake is unlogged.
Sutslem 910-3291 MC KIR 23,125 mod no About 25 ha logged on north side in 1967.
Swallop 910-3138 MC KIR 17,375 pris no
Takush 910-0124 MC HEL 8,250 pris no Some old logging on shoreline close to watershed but no logging within watershed.
Taleomy 910-2759 MC NPR 51,999 dev no
Unnamed 910-2632 MC NPR 6,652 pris no South of Menzies Point in South Bentick Arm.
Unnamed 910-3080 MC KIR 7,625 pris no East of White Cliff Point in Dean Channel.
Wannock 910-1288 MC NPR 446,961 dev no
Aaltanhash 910-5506 NC KIR 11,406 mod no Old logging in 1968 to west. Head Cr and Dome L have old logging trail on south side.
Alder 400-0828 NC KIR 8,625 mod no One 10 ha cut block logged in 1978. Road building planned in watershed in next five years.
Anudol 500-1087 NC KIR 10,750 dev no
Anyox 910-9487 NC KIR 11,937 dev no Road to dam. Trees killed by smelter. Unlogged.
Archie L 915-4883-349 NC HEL 8,812 pris no
Ayton 400-0455 NC KIR 5,687 pris no
Banks L 915-5600-375 NC HEL 10,062 pris no
Barrie 910-6023 NC KIR 11,250 pris no
Big Falls 400-0165-242 NC KIR 26,500 dev no
Bish 910-6777 NC KIR 12,937 mod no Approximately 30 ha logged in 1960s.
Brim 910-6324 NC KIR 15,810 pris no
Brown L 400-0165-157 NC KIR 6,312 mod no Lot 121 is logged and cleared for future power development. No logging.
Burton 500-0185 NC KIR 8,375 pris no
Butedale 915-4883-818 NC HEL 5,312 mod no Fish cannery at mouth, abandoned 1960s. Unlogged above Butedale L.
Canoona 915-4883-842 NC HEL 12,375 mod no Road to lake for fish ladder.
Chambers 500-0090 NC KIR 8,687 pris no
Crab 910-6447 NC KIR 13,750 dev no
Dala 910-6612 NC KIR 42,562 dev no
Dasque 400-1522 NC KIR 15,562 dev no
Deer L 915-4883-499 NC HEL 13,937 dev no
Donahue 910-9850 NC KIR 7,125 mod no About 35 ha logged in 1970s at river mouth.
Ecstall 400-0165-000 NC KIR 83,874 pris no
Enshesheshe 910-8631 NC KIR 6,652 dev no
Europa 910-5955 NC KIR 10,375 mod no 32 ha logged in 1986-89 on both sides lower river.
Exchamsics 410-0000 NC KIR 50,250 mod no One small block logged upstream of small park on East side; most not in watershed. Highway and railway cross lower watershed.
Exstew 400-1374 NC KIR 44,562 dev no
Falls 910-6592 NC KIR 21,125 dev no About 200 ha old logging in 1940s. Currently 10 km of active road construction.
Foch 910-7054 NC KIR 6,062 pris no
Foch Lagoon 910-7042 NC KIR 11,687 pris no Logging in side drainage near mouth, but no logging in watershed.
Freda L 910-7489 NC HEL 6,687 pris no
Georgetown 910-8233 NC HEL 6,062 dev no
Georgie 910-9918 NC KIR 15,312 mod no IR at mouth logged; rest of watershed is unlogged.
Gilttoyees 910-6954 NC KIR 26,188 pris no
Gitnadoix 400-1134 NC KIR 56,812 mod RA Approximately 40 ha logged on Skeena flats. Powerline on islands in Skeena.
Goat 910-5657 NC KIR 5,687 mod no 35 ha logged 40 years ago at mouth.
Green Inlet 910-5330 NC KIR 18,642 pris no
Hayward 400-0165-141 NC KIR 5,375 dev no
Hugh 910-6504 NC KIR 6,000 pris no
Iknouk 500-0300 NC KIR 10,750 mod no Logging on lR at mouth; and approximately 27 ha logged upstream of lR. Logging planned in 1991.
Illiance 910-9298 NC KIR 12,750 dev no Highway to Kitsault.
Ishkheenickh 510-0000 NC KIR 56,562 dev no
Jesse 910-6825 NC KIR 15,750 mod no Approximately 8 ha old logging at mouth in 1940s. No roads. Fire on E side at mouth of creek.
Johnson 500-0107 NC KIR 5,437 pris no
Kasiks 400-0932 NC KIR 25,750 dev no Approximately 600 ha logged near mouth, but most not in watershed. Gas pipeline and right-of-way in watershed. Highway and railway cross mouth.
Keecha L 915-5600-804 NC HEL 5,625 pris no
Keeyarka Cove 915-5600-629 NC HEL 5,000 pris no
Kelskiist 910-9218 NC KIR 6,250 pris no
Kemano 910-6274 NC KIR 99,750 dev no
Khtada 400-0593 NC KIR 15,768 mod no Powerline crosses at mouth, but watershed is unroaded and unlogged.
Khutze 910-5451 NC KIR 27,468 mod no Railway and active mine in 1930. Unlogged except in association with mine.
Khutzeymateen 910-8875 NC KIR 35,344 mod no 20 ha logged in 1950, upstream of estuary. Proposed as an ER.
Khyex 400-0361 NC KIR 42,562 mod no Approximately 100 ha logged. Highway and railway cross lower watershed.
Kildala 910-6598 NC KIR 34,937 dev no
Kiltuish 910-5933 NC KIR 31,200 pris no Logging on inlet, but none in watershed.
Kincolith 500-0025 NC KIR 21,375 dev no
Kitimat 910-6735 NC KIR 205,999 dev no
Kitkiata 910-7133 NC KIR 7,562 dev no
Kitlope 910-6176 NC KIR 275,061 mod no About 30 ha of IR logged on island in river.
Kitsault 910-9302 NC KIR 44,437 dev no
Kitsumkalum 430-0000 NC NAR 426,874 dev no
Kleanza 400-2318 NC NAR 20,250 dev no
Klekane 910-5567 NC KIR 9,500 pris no
Kloiya 910-7919 NC HEL 10,500 dev no
Kowesas 910-6083 NC KIR 33,250 pris no
Ksedin 500-2540 NC KIR 28,624 dev no
Kshwan 910-9418 NC KIR 26,687 pris no
Kumealon 910-7689 NC HEL 5,187 mod no 72 ha logged in 1950s along lower river.
Kwinemass 910-8966 NC KIR 32,000 dev no
Lakelse 420-0000 NC KIR 57,812 dev no
Lowe-Gamble 910-7401 NC HEL 24,656 pris no
Madeline 400-0165-220 NC KIR 6,312 mod no Approximately 50 ha logged at mouth in 1960s.
Olh 910-9395 NC KIR 10,187 pris no
Owycumish 910-6325 NC KIR 9,500 pris no
Paril 910-5824 NC KIR 6,062 mod no No past or recent logging. Current road construction for SBEP; 2 km of road built in 1990.
Pike 910-6484 NC KIR 5,062 mod no Old roads entering from Weewanie, but no logging.
Quaal 910-7139 NC KIR 20,875 dev no
Scotia 400-0570 NC KIR 13,937 dev no
Shames 400-1575 NC KIR 8,937 dev no
Stagoo 910-9197 NC KIR 15,562 pris no
Swanson Bay 910-5396 NC KIR 5,624 mod no Old pulp mill and townsite on pulp license in 1908.
Thulme 910-8548 NC KIR 7,437 dev no
Toon 910-8556 NC KIR 8,999 dev no
Triumph 910-5845 NC KIR 8,562 dev no Small area of old logging. Recent harvest of 150 ha and 3 km of new road. Ongoing activity.
Tsaytis 910-6185 NC KIR 42,625 pris no About 140 ha logged near mouth; not in watershed.
Tsimtack L 915-5602-879 NC HEL 7,000 mod no Logging on pulp license at creek mouth.
Union 910-8719 NC KIR 6,437 pris no Small area to west of watershed is logged, but no logging in watershed.
Unnamed 910-5895 NC KIR 8,125 pris no Opposite Europa Point in west Gardner Canal.
Unnamed 910-6139 NC KIR 6,312 pris no South of Queen Point in east Garnder Canal.
Unnamed 910-6248 NC KIR 6,652 pris no Opposite Chief Matthews Bay, east Gardner Canal.
Unnamed 910-7102 NC KIR 5,625 pris no East of Kihess Creek, north side Douglas Channel.
Unnamed 910-9258 NC KIR 6,812 pris no Near Hans Point, south side Alice Arm.
Unnamed 915-5600-411 NC HEL 6,500 pris no In Kingkown Inlet, west side Banks Island.
Unnamed 400-0164-066 NC KIR 6,000 pris no Between Port Essington and Brown L on west side of Ecstall River entrance.
Wahoo 910-6275 NC KIR 22,000 pris no
Walthsto 910-6693 NC KIR 5,937 mod no 2 powerlines and road across middle; unlogged.
Wathl 910-6704 NC KIR 12,249 dev no Townsite at mouth; no logging upstream.
Weewanie 910-6490 NC KIR 13,125 dev no
Whalen L 915-4883-754 NC HEL 9,375 dev no
Zymagotitz 400-1842 NC NAR 39,125 dev no
Zymoetz 440-0000 NC NAR 207,625 dev no
QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS
Ain 940-7687 QCI SKP 30,000 dev no
Awun 940-8183 QCI SKP 7,100 dev no
Beresford 940-5735 QCI WQC 13,157 pris no
Bonanza 940-3325 QCI WQC 6,360 dev no
Cape Ball 940-0192 QCI QCL 16,117 pris park Old clearings for agriculture and cabins at mouth, less than 5 ha total.
Cave 940-5448 QCI WQC 9,000 dev no
Christie 940-6527 QCI QCL 12,812 pris no
Coates 940-4552 QCI WQC 8,370 pris no
Copper 950-0104 QCI SKP 14,300 dev no
Datlamen 940-8516 QCI SKP 5,900 dev no
Davidson 940-6617 QCI SKP 11,600 dev no
Deena 950-9743 QCI SKP 6,300 dev no
Haines 940-5606 QCI WQC 10,500 dev no 168 ha active logging. More approved.
Hancock 940-7265 QCI QCL 20,750 pris no
Hiellen 940-9872 QCI QCL 13,400 pris park
Jalun 940-6202 QCI QCL 11,000 pris no
Lignite 940-6724 QCI QCL 11,000 dev no
Mamin 940-8748 QCI SKP 17,100 dev no
Mathers 955-0810-383 QCI SKP 8,510 dev no
Mayer 940-0535 QCI QCL 15,220 mod part 11,000 Most of watershed in Naikoon PP. Some old and current logging; and a highway outside the park.
Naden 940-6651 QCI SKP 25,130 dev no
Oeanda 940-0218 QCI QCL 10,373 pris park
Otard 940-5165 QCI WQC 9,150 pris no
Otun 940-7167 QCI QCL 13,897 pris no
Pallant 950-0650 QCI SKP 8,330 dev no
Sangan 940-9740 QCI QCL 15,900 mod part 4,000 Approximately 150 ha logged both sides of lower Sangan in 1960s. Most of Sangan is in Naikoon PP, but major tributaries are not. Drizzle L ER includes headwaters of one tributary.
Seal 940-3766 QCI WQC 5,550 pris no
Skedans 955-0810-590 QCI SKP 5,030 dev no
Tlell 940-570 QCI QCL 34,400 dev no
Yakoun 940-8961 QCI SKP 54,500 dev no
Geographic Ecological Devel’t Protected
Name Region Region Area (ha) Status Status Comments
Moyeha WVI WIM 18,220 pris Strathcona PP Entire watershed is within Strathcona PP.
Kainet MC KIR 7,844 pris Fjordland RA
Lard MC KIR 5,312 mod Fjordland RA 75 ha logged in 1950s on both sides of stream at mouth.
Mussel MC KIR 16,748 mod Fjordland RA 72 ha logged on south side of lower stream in 1950s.
Poison Cove MC KIR 10,625 pris Fjordland RA
Gitnadoix NC KIR 56,812 mod Gitnadoix RA Approximately 40 ha logged on Skeena flats. Powerline on islands in Skeena.
Cape Ball QCI QCL 16,117 pris Naikoon PP Old clearings for agriculture and cabins at mouth, less than 5 ha total.
Hiellen QCI QCL 13,400 pris Naikoon PP
Oeanda QCI QCL 10,373 pris Naikoon PP
Geographic Watershed Protected % w-shed Protected
Name Region Area (ha) Area (ha) protected CWH (ha) Comments
Harrison FLM 786,750 76,000 10 17,500 Portions of Snowcap, Tuwasus, Billygoat, Kakila and Ure watersheds (all tributaries of Lillooet R) are protected in Garibaldi PP; but lower reaches outside the park are logged. About 23% of the protected area is CWH.
Pitt FLM 168,437 41,000 24 21,250 The upper Pitt watershed above Pitt L is protected in Garibaldi PP. About 52% of the protected area is CWH.
Stave FLM 101,813 32,500 32 3,750 The upper Stave and Tingle Cr (tributary to Stave L) are protected in Judge Howay RA and Golden Ears and Garibaldi PP’s. Part of the protected area has been logged in the past. About 12% of the protected area is CWH.
Campbell EVI 169,816 100,000 59 40,500 Several entire tributary watersheds of Buttle L (Wolf, Phillips and Ralph) are protected in Strathcona PP; all greater than 5,000 ha and unlogged. Cervus Cr (tributary to the Elk R flowing into upper Campbell L) is also within Strathcona PP. The protected area includes an active mine, and extensive past logging. About 41% is CWH.
Bedwell WVI 21,050 10,700 51 5,500 The upper Bedwell is in Strathcona PP. Most of the lower slopes on both sides of the watershed within the park have been logged. About 51% of the protected area is CWH.
Burman WVI 24,299 19,375 80 6,500 The upper Burman is within Strathcona PP. Logging extends up to the park boundary but not beyond. About 34% of the protected area is CWH.
Carmanah WVI 6,616 3,500 53 3,500 164 ha logged in upper watershed in 1986 is 2.4% of watershed area. Roads enter lower watershed at three locations. The lower half of the watershed now in a PP Reserve is contiguous with protected area in Pacific Rim NP. All of the protected area is CWH.
Fisherman WVI 8,380 1,125 13 1,125 The lower watershed is in Cape Scott PP. About 450 ha of upper watershed is logged. The protected area is all CWH.
Gold WVI 102,812 20,700 20 3,500 Parts of the Upper Gold watershed are protected in Strathcona PP. The watershed around Gold L is protected but part of this area has been logged. The upper Ucona, a tributary of the Gold, is protected and the entire watershed above Donner L is unlogged. Part of an adjacent tributary watershed is also protected. About 17% of the protected area is CWH.
Megin WVI 24,299 3,000 12 1,000 Some logging on small IR at mouth of stream. Less than 5 ha logged in watershed. The upper Mitla and upper reaches of two other tributaries of the Megin are in Strathcona PP and are unlogged. There is a 50 ha ER in the lower watershed. About 33% of the protected area is CWH; remainder is subalpine forest (MH zone) and mountain peaks (AT zone).
Bella Coola MC 294,861 159,500 54 11,000 The northside of the Talchako and its tributaries are protected in Tweedsmuir PP. Only 7% is CWH; and the balance is mountain and interior forest types.
Dean MC 782,999 307,500 39 8,000 The Middle Dean and tributaries are protected in Tweedsmuir PP. Only 3% is CWH; and the balance is mountain and interior forest types.
Mayer QCI 15,220 11,000 72. 11,000 Most of watershed is in Naikoon PP. There is old logging, some current logging and a highway outside the park. All of the protected area is CWH.
Sangan QCI 15,900 4,000 25 4,000 Approximately 150 ha logged both sides of lower Sangan in 1960s. Most of Sangan is in Naikoon PP, but major tributaries are not. Drizzle L ER includes headwaters of one tributary. All of the protected area is CWH.
Geographic Ecological Development
Name Region Region Area (ha) Status Protected Status
Unnamed WVI WIM 1,000 pris Brooks RA
Unnamed WVI WIM 1,300 pris Brooks RA
Amos WVI WIM 2,400 pris Brooks RA
Marks WVI WIM 2,800 pris Brooks RA
Tsusiat WVI WIM 3,300 pris Pacific Rim NP
Near MC KIR 1,400 unknown Fjordland RA
Riot MC KIR 2,900 unknown Fjordland RA
Leesum MC KIR 3,600 unknown Fjordland RA
Korich MC KIR 2,200 unknown Fjordland RA
Lizette MC KIR 2,400 unknown Fjordland RA
McAlpin MC KIR 2,700 unknown Fjordland RA
Unnamed – Calvert Is MC HEL 3,200 pris Hakai RA
Unnamed – Hunter Is MC HEL 1,700 pris Hakai RA
Unnamed – Hunter Is MC HEL 1,100 pris Hakai RA
Gingietl NC KIR 2,900 pris Gingietl ER
Scudder QCI WQC 1,100 pris Gwaii Haanas/South Moresby NPR
Luxana QCI WQC 1,100 pris Gwaii Haanas/South Moresby NPR
Goski QCI WQC 1,100 pris Gwaii Haanas/South Moresby NPR
Echo QCI WQC 1,000 mod Gwaii Haanas/South Moresby NPR
Salmon QCI WQC 1,000 mod Gwaii Haanas/South Moresby NPR
Windy Bay QCI SKP 1,850 pris Gwaii Haanas/South Moresby NPR
Mace QCI WQC 2,000 pris Krajina ER